Fresh application for winter complex

A detailed application for new homes as part of the giant SnOasis development was today due to be lodged by developer Godfrey Spanner.

GREAT BLAKENHAM: A detailed application for new homes as part of the giant SnOasis development was today due to be lodged by developer Godfrey Spanner.

But work on the huge winter sports complex is still a long way off, according to the top man at Mid Suffolk Council.

Mr Spanner said: “We are due to lodge our detailed planning application for homes with Mid Suffolk on Friday (today) and we hope to start remedial work within the next few weeks.”

The planning application for the resort is still some way off - although Mr Spanner says he is confident work on the resort should soon start.

He said: “Our lawyers are talking to the council's lawyers and it seems as if the problems put up by the government last year have been overcome.

“That should allow us to put in a detailed application early next year.”

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However the chief executive of Mid Suffolk, Andrew Good, warned the area is still a long way off seeing work starting.

He said it was possible that homes could be built on the site within the next year - although no application had yet been submitted - but the sports complex was still far away.

He said: “If Mr Spanner is making progress with the government planning conditions then fine, but as far as we are aware nothing has changed and the sports and leisure side is still some way off.”

Peter Welham, of the SnOasis Community Alliance, which represents 11 parish councils in and around the area, said he could not see any prospect of the project taking off in the short or medium term.

He said: “We provisionally feel, as a group, that there must be a serious question mark over the future of SnOasis. It's been a year exactly now since he was given approval for it and we have yet to see a detailed plan.”

AS Mr Spanner's Onslow (Suffolk) Ltd prepares to start work on the site, it will no longer have its PR company, Ambrose Went Curtis, at its side.

The company ended its relationship with the developers earlier this month in a move which took many people by surprise.

Jim Carroll, from the PR company, confirmed his firm had ended the relationship.

Mr Spanner said he hoped they would be able to work together in some form in the future.

“At the moment we are in some negotiations,” he said.

He said that despite the long time it has taken to reach the current situation all his consultants and team had been paid and that there were no funding problems.

There had been concern about the project following financial problems with one of its main backers, First Equity Group, an Irish bank, but Mr Spanner has always insisted the project's funding was ring-fenced against the recession.

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