SnOasis talks 'nearing completion' - as council gives project full support
PUBLISHED: 05:30 14 February 2020
Long-delayed plans for a major snow centre in Suffolk have been backed by the district council - which says negotiations are "nearing completion".
The controversial SnOasis development has been on and off the agenda for nearly 20 years - but the project took a huge leap forward in March 2019 when Mid Suffolk District Council's planning committee voted the application through to the next stage.
Doubts remained over the project despite the decision - however, nearly 12 months later, the district council has again confirmed its long-term support for the snow centre in its three-year corporate plan.
It has also been revealed that ongoing discussions between council planning officers and development company DP9 could conclude "very soon".
David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council's cabinet member for planning, said: "Since our planning committee resolved to grant planning permission for SnOasis last year, Mid Suffolk District Council and the developer have been working hard on a raft of measures and community benefits that would need to be agreed for construction to start.
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"These negotiations have been positive and fruitful, and are nearing completion.
"We believe we'll be in a position to announce the outcome of these discussions very soon, but for now we can certainly say that Mid Suffolk fully supports SnOasis and the wider benefits it's going to bring to the district and Suffolk as a whole."
The project - which would bring a professional level ski slope, ice rink and bobsleigh run to Suffolk - could create 3,500 jobs during construction and a further 1,900 when it is fully operational.
Earmarked for a 350-acre site in Great Blakenham, SnOasis would also feature an entertainment centre with a casino, nightclub, pool hall and cinema - plus opportunities for shops, a hotel, hostel and chalets.
The ongoing negotiations are to do with the benefits provided by the development company to the local area in a bid to counteract any impact it will have.
These could include improvements to the Copdock roundabout and roads into Great Blakenham from junction 52 of the A14.
They could also list a revamp for Stowmarket railway station and cash for shuttle bus services to and from the site.