SnOasis bosses issue to plea to PM

IT'S time to sort it out, Gordon!

IT'S time to sort it out, Gordon!

Frustrated developers behind the SnOasis project are today hoping that Prime Minister Gordon Brown can help resolve the delay to construction brought about by a technicality.

The �350million winter sports complex was given the government thumbs-up in November but it could now be put on ice for two years thanks to an error in a clause in the official papers.

The Evening Star reported last month that the delay in the project, which would hinder an influx of jobs and cost a further �15million, was down to the word 'all'.

The condition stated that 'all reserved matters', which are the applications for the detailed design and construction, must be carried out before the first brick can be laid at Great Blakenham.

The revelation has astounded developers Onslow Suffolk, which says the wording has been lost in translation between government departments.

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Godfrey Spanner, the company's managing director, has now written to Downing Street in a desperate bid to get Mr Brown involved, hoping his influence will resolve the issue.

Downing Street has responded to the letter, claiming the situation is being looked at.

Jim Carroll, SnOasis spokesman, said: “Everyone is desperate to get this moved on. We thought you can't go higher than Gordon Brown so we wrote to him. All we are asking is for him to put it in the right direction to sort it out.

“There are more than 3,500 jobs involved in this, which are desperately needed in the current economy.”

In his letter to Mr Brown, Mr Spanner stated: “I am aware that you were recently in Ipswich and I believe that your attention may have been drawn to SnOasis.”

Mr Spanner explained the situation and called for a meeting with secretary of state, the business minister or a delegated person to resolve the matter, which he said is becoming “very contentious”.

The developers claim to have agreed a phased programme of reserved matters, to be submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council, with the planning inspector during the public inquiry in 2007. They say the inspector failed to include that agreement in his report and it did not find its way into the letter of consent by communities secretary Hazel Blears.

What is your view on the SnOasis development? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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