Business backing as decision day nears

SUFFOLK businesses have overwhelmingly backed the controversial SnOasis ski resort at Great Blakenham just days before a crucial decision on the project's future.

SUFFOLK businesses have overwhelmingly backed the controversial SnOasis ski resort at Great Blakenham just days before a crucial decision on the project's future.

A survey designed to gauge support for the £350million winter sports complex on the old Blue Circle cement works site has found that 95per cent of the business people approached in the e-mail survey thought it would be good for the county.

Of the 320 businesses questioned by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and the Ipswich and Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA), 303 said they supported the SnOasis concept and felt that it would encourage further investment in the county.

Only 17 respondents said they felt the project would not be good for Suffolk.


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Clive Thomas, chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Institute of Directors and Suffolk for SnOasis, a lobby group with members from business and the Chamber of Commerce and ISSBA, said: “This is extremely good evidence that the business community wants this. I think it's very hard to refute a level of support like that.

“I was a bit surprised with the results. Not because of the large number of people for SnOasis but before we did this there was a level of complacency out there. A lot of people thought the business arguments were so strong there was no need to do anything about it.

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“What this survey showed was that people have suddenly realised that we do need to stand up and be heard.”

The survey results have been timed to coincide with the lead-up to a key public meeting on Thursdaywhen Mid Suffolk District Council's planning referrals committee is due to decide whether its gives Onslow Suffolk, the developers behind SnOasis, the go-ahead for the project.

The councillors will vote on whether to give outline planning permission for the leisure complex, a nearby 421-home housing development and a new railway station for Great Blakenham.

If built, the SnOasis complex would boast the world's highest indoor real-snow slope plus facilities for 13 other sports including ice climbing walls, bobsleigh and a nine-hole golf course.

Weblink: www.snoasis.co.uk; www.midsuffolk.gov.uk

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