Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Great Blakenham: Fresh doubt SnOasis will go ahead - Mid Suffolk leader

06:00 29 May 2014

Artist

Artist's impression of what SnOasis could look like

Archant

The leader of Mid Suffolk has cast doubt whether the proposals behind the £300million SnOasis project still “stack up”.

SnOasis developer Godfrey SpannerSnOasis developer Godfrey Spanner

First proposed more than a decade ago, there is still no sign that SnOasis – the winter-sports complex earmarked for Great Blakenham – will be built.

And there is now little more than two years until its planning permission runs out.

Derrick Haley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said the public had the right to question whether it will go ahead.

“I have my doubts whether it will be built,” he said. “I would need some real convincing now that things are in place for it to go ahead.

“I just do not see how it could, there may be people who come back and ask for other uses for it. It’s a huge site, a very big site.

“I know the economy is improving but the business case that was put up all those years ago, does it now stack up? I do not know, someone would need to give me a real insight into their books.”

But Godfrey Spanner, the man behind SnOasis, remained defiant and said the comments were “completely out of touch”.

“During the depressed (recession) years we have reworked the project based upon modern techniques and materials and engaged with major partner opportunities which discussions are very current,” he said.

“Our entire team is intact. In the very near future we shall re-engage with the planners to discuss applications for reserved matters.”

He claimed the business case is “stronger than ever” since the collapse of the financial markets in 2008.

Last month it was revealed how a new developer had come forward with an alternative plan for the 350-acre site.

There were pre-application stage discussions with planning chiefs at Mid Suffolk – sparking calls for action to develop the area.

Mr Haley added: “Someone might come along with a great idea, it’s up to the community to view that and what is being offered.

“It’s near the A14, it’s a huge site and it would be nice to see it put to some good use.

“Some people were of the opinion that it would never be built from the first instance but if someone comes to you with a proposition you have to view it with good faith – that it’s going to be built.

“But as time goes by you do have to wonder.”

He said one idea for the site was to use it for sport facilities.

But Mr Spanner said SnOasis would be ready to open in 2018. “I remember stating in 2003, we were here to stay and we have continued to pour resources and enthusiasm on the SnOasis project for 14 years,” he said.

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court

A driver who “chased” a red Suzuki around Ipswich town centre causing pedestrians to take evasive action has been allowed to keep his licence.

Average speed cameras on the A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

More than 50 drivers a day have been caught speeding over the Orwell Bridge since the average speed cameras became operational in July.

A couple have taken some unusual selfies with the Pigs Gone Wild, posing up snaps with Lego figures

Newlyweds Sarah and Mike Richards have taken some unusual selfies with the Pigs Gone Wild – using a pair of Lego minifigures that topped their wedding cake.

David Cocks, executive chairman of Anglian Radio.

Suffolk local radio pioneer David Cocks has died suddenly.

An aerial photograph of Parham Airfield, taken in 2012. Photo: Mike Page.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man who was found electrocuted after an industrial accident at Parham Airfield.

67-year-old Danny Drive will be taking part in Suffolk Historic Church Bike Ride on his 1949 Raleigh cycle.

When he takes to the roads in a charity bike ride next month, cyclist Danny Driver is expecting to stand out amongst the sea of high tech bicycles and Lycra.

Police at the scene near the River Stour in Sudbury.

The body of an older man has been recovered from the River Stour in Sudbury.

Tom Lawrence

With the end of the emergency loan windows it looks as though football clubs up and down Britain will be in for a busier-than-usual transfer deadline day.

Ipswich Crown Court where Troy Williams was today cleared of robbery

A Colchester teenager who claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity has been cleared of being part of a gang which robbed a man of his mobile phone at knifepoint.

New National Heritage Centre in Newmarket

To mark 350 years since the historic return of King Charles II to Newmarket, the town will open its new National Heritage Centre for Horeseracing and Sporting Art on September 19.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24