Ski slope opponents need money for fight

RESIDENTS against the construction of the world's biggest indoor ski slope at Great Blakenham say they are prepared to raise more than £100,000 to fund their campaign to stop it.

RESIDENTS against the construction of the world's biggest indoor ski slope at Great Blakenham say they are prepared to raise more than £100,000 to fund their campaign to stop it.

The group leading the charge against SnOasis say the predicted bill for their legal team and experts at a public inquiry into the £350million project is rising by the day and now looks likely to reach into “six figures”.

In an attempt to fund their case against Onslow Suffolk's plans for the winter sports complex, SnOasis Concern is rallying together residents who fear the complex would affect their standard of living and damage the environment.

Keith Willetts, the group's chairman, said: “Every time we look at it the figures go up.

“We think it's going to be six figures now which keeps upping the bar on what we've got to raise.

“We've already had a very successful leafleting campaign and cheques are flooding in. We've had hundreds of cheques sent in.”

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Mr Willetts said some pledges had been for “four-figure” amounts.

SnOasis Concern celebrated when the Government Office for the East (GO East) ruled that a public inquiry should decide whether Onlsow Suffolk is given permission to build its massive leisure complex, which would include a main ski slope measuring 475 metres long with a 100-metre vertical drop and a raft of other winter sports, a 350-room hotel and 350 chalets, as well as a new railway station for Great Blakenham.

The inquiry will also consider whether Persimmon Homes should be allowed to build an adjoining 421-home development.

The decision to hold an inquiry came after Mid Suffolk District Council's planning referrals committee gave the three connected applications outline planning approval - a decision which saw Onslow Suffolk overcome the first major planning hurdle.

Now the opponents hope that when a planning inspector holds an inquiry at a date yet to be announced the government will block SnOasis altogether.

SnOasis Concern has contacted its 500 members to urge them to write to the Planning Inspectorate opposing SnOasis and the group is also holding a sponsored walk around the site on October 22 to raise money for its campaign.

Weblinks: www.snoasisconcern.com; www.snoasis.co.uk

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