Newts doubt hangs over SnOasis

NATURAL England has reasserted its opposition to Suffolk's SnOasis winter sports resort today after developers behind the scheme failed to convince it the environment would be protected.

Grant Sherlock

NATURAL England has reasserted its opposition to Suffolk's SnOasis winter sports resort today after developers behind the scheme failed to convince it the environment would be protected.

Onslow Suffolk, the company behind the £300million indoor ski centre proposed for a disused quarry at Great Blakenham, had been asked to provide extra information to the government about how it planned to minimise energy use and protect great crested newts on the site.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has now confirmed that the information has been received and that the secretary of state will make a ruling on whether the scheme can be built by September 25.

A spokesman for the department confirmed that Natural England was “still standing by their objections to the scheme”.

Opponents believe SnOasis will be damaging to the environment and insist mitigation measures designed to protect newts relocated from the site are inadequate.

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However SnOasis' supporters say it would deliver a massive economic boost to the county, creating hundreds of jobs and attracting thousands of winter sports enthusiasts to the area.