SnOasis heads for crucial decision

CRUNCH time is approaching for the £330million SnOasis winter sports resort as residents have what could be their final say on the massive development.

CRUNCH time is approaching for the £330million SnOasis winter sports resort as residents have what could be their final say on the massive development.

Planning experts are ploughing through letters of support and opposition to the ski resort and associated housing development and railway station at Great Blakenham before a long-awaited meeting of Mid Suffolk District Council's planning referral committee.

Residents were given 21 days to comment on the latest SnOasis plans and they have until tomorrow to write to Mid Suffolk District Council about their views.

The planning referral committee will hold a public meeting on April 20 and April 21 to discuss the three development applications and ultimately vote on whether to give outline planning approval for what would be Suffolk's biggest leisure complex.

John Lawson, the planning consultant appointed by Mid Suffolk District Council to handle the application, said: “We've been receiving letters and e-mails of support and we've had some further objections as well.

“We've got to assess and analyse it and report the findings to the council's planning committee on April 20.

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“Members will take a vote at the meeting and they'll either vote to support it or to reject it.”

The enormous planning requirements of the development have seen repeated delays in the planning process but Mid Suffolk District Council now believes it has all the necessary reports into the likely impacts of the development, including those on the transport network and the environment, for a decision to be made.

The district council's planning referrals committee will meet at Great Blakenham village hall on April 20 and. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 10am on April 20.


SnOasis would feature the biggest indoor ski slope in the world with capacity for 600 skiers. It would also have an ice rink, four-screen cinema, bowling alley, a casino, restaurants and a nightclub.

The application for the nearby housing development is for 432 homes while the railway station would be built on the London to Norwich main line and would be linked to the ski resort via a shuttle bus service.

This week three parish councils sent a strong message to members of the Mid Suffolk District Council planning committee by voting to recommend refusal of the SnOasis applications.

Both Bramford parish council and Claydon and Whitton Rural parish council voted to recommend all three applications are turned down while Great Blakenham parish council is yet to decide on its position for the proposal railway station.

On April 20 the planning committee will vote on the applications and decide whether to support or reject them.

If they support the plans, the applications will be referred to the government for consideration because the developments are what is known as a “departure” from the council's development plan.

All developments which are not in line with the development plan must be considered by the government before being allowed to go ahead.

The government officers will then have 21 days to decide whether or not to order a public enquiry.

If they decide an enquiry is not necessary the application can move to the next stage, which will see Onslow Suffolk submit more detailed plans for consideration by the council.

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