Government won't pay for SnOasis costs

THE Government has rejected pleas by Mid Suffolk District Council to shoulder the £500,000 costs of the SnOasis public inquiry, meaning services may have to be cut to pay for it.

THE Government has rejected pleas by Mid Suffolk District Council to shoulder the £500,000 costs of the SnOasis public inquiry, meaning services may have to be cut to pay for it.

If the £300 million winter sports complex gets the go-ahead it will be the largest development in the region since the Port of Felixstowe and will include a ski-slope, a four star 350-bed hotel, 350 chalets, 100 apartments and many new jobs at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich.

It is part of a wider construction project including 421 new homes, doubling the size of the village, and a new railway station.

Despite the council's support for the project the Government called the decision in and a public inquiry started in January in front of inspector John Gray.

Tim Passmore, Conservative leader of the district council that voted to approve SnOasis, said: “The Government has said they will not pay for any of the costs of these inquiries, but we are not accepting no for an answer.

“It is outrageous that something is called in of national significance and we should pay for it.

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“We will not put council tax up for this, this would equate to a 12 per cent rise, and we need to keep our reserves at a legal minimum.

“If we do borrow money to pay for it we will have to repay it over several years and we will then have less money for other things, such as recycling, litter collection, regenerating the local area.”

But a Government spokesman said that it was normal practice for the parties involved in public inquiries to pay their own costs.

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