Local reaction to SnOasis approval

THE community which will be most affected by the SnOasis development has given a mixed response to the news of its approval today.

John Howard

THE community which will be most affected by the SnOasis development has given a mixed response to the news of its approval today.

Roger Mason, owner of the Duke of Marlborough pub in Somersham which is near the SnOasis site, is thrilled.

He said: “This is absolutely brilliant. I was dumbstruck when I first heard the news, this has dominated my life for the last six years.

“This is going to be good news for the area. Like so many things you need to have a balance between jobs and the environment. With the state of the economy as it is this will be a great help to see this area through the recession.

“I am very pleased for Godfrey Spanner who has worked tirelessly and been very determined to see this through. I saw the effects that Sizewell B power station brought to all the pubs and hotels.

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“The local tourist and hospitality trade will benefit while this is being built and even afterwards. I hope it will bring more trade here and I truly believe this will be good for east Suffolk.”

But others in the area were not so pleased by the news.

Debbie Parker, a West Suffolk College NVQ assessor and a Great Blakenham resident for 30 years, said: “Five years ago when this was first spoken about it was £320 million and in the last year prices of even half a dozen eggs have doubled.

“I really can't still see this being the same price. The majority of it will be steel, which has skyrocketed in price, and I hope people will not be disappointed when thousands of jobs do not materialize and the ones that do are for the basic minimum wage.

“I just hope that the people who were for this do not think, “O my God what have we done” in ten years time.

“People who ski regularly, why would they come here, skiers want the outdoors. I am sorely disappointed.”

Shirley Fairburn, chairman of Great Blakenham Parish Council and a resident for 16 years, added: “I do not understand how the Government can in one breath say we are trying to be environmentally friendly in all we do, how the countryside is important, how we need to cut our emissions, and how we are taxed for cars that emit more than others, and then they pass something like this which will destroy our countryside.

“The majority of people within the community have their heads in the sand and have no concept of what this is going to mean.

“Generally, the public at the moment think this will be wonderful. But we will be gridlocked and unable to move and have this awful thing on our doorstep.

“Villagers in other communities have no idea what this will do to their landscape.”

Graham Brand, a local businessman and resident who has lived in the Great Blakenham and Claydon area most of his life, said: “I am disappointed, but not surprised.

“I won't be rushing out to buy any skis and do not think it will be built, not in the current financial climate. What chance is there of this if houses are not now going up?

“Anyone who says they can build anything at present the Government thinks is wonderful, but it will never happen.”