SnOasis chief must still wait for final approval
GREAT BLAKENHAM: The developer behind the ambitious SnOasis project faces an anxious wait for final planning approval from the government over the next few days before any work can start.
Godfrey Spanner, the SnOasis developer, was last month given extra time to start work on the scheme and was told he could phase the work in a bid to help get it off the ground.
But the decision, made by Mid Suffolk District Council’s SnOasis Planning Committee, needs to be rubber-stamped by the Secretary of State before anything can begin.
Jim Carroll, who works closely with Mr Spanner on the project, said he had hoped to hear from the government by yesterday but he now expected a decision by next Friday.
Mr Carroll said: “It’s extremely frustrating. It’s a statutory thing that they have 21 days to come back to us so it’s completely out of our hands and we are just sitting, waiting.”
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Mr Carroll said the SnOasis team had been in talks with several construction firms about the project, which would create up to 3,500 jobs that would largely be taken up by local people.
He added: “We’ve had (outline) planning permission for two years and there’s a lot of people that could be employed and this area could be booming if SnOasis could be constructed. There’s only a minority of people who don’t want it to happen.
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“If I was the minister or secretary of state and somebody put a project on my desk with of the rigours that SnOasis had gone through then I would say ‘get this sorted because we want these jobs’.”
But before all the building work could begin on the ski dome, entertainment centre and hotel complex, there would be a few long-standing issues to resolve.
The first phase of work would be on the ecological mitigation of the site – mostly focused on the removal and relocation of protected newts.
The newts would be moved to newly-dug ponds on a separate part of the site that would not be part of the development.
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