SnOasis inquiry extended

DESPITE hopes it would all by over by this week, the public inquiry into the £300million SnOasis ski slope is still far from finished today.What were expected to be the final arguments in the inquiry into the huge winter sports resort were due to be put to planning inspector John Gray at Ipswich Corn Exchange yesterday.

DESPITE hopes it would all by over by this week, the public inquiry into the £300million SnOasis ski slope is still far from finished today.

What were expected to be the final arguments in the inquiry into the huge winter sports resort were due to be put to planning inspector John Gray at Ipswich Corn Exchange yesterday.

But a small group of members of the public there to witness the completion of the lengthy inquiry witnessed an extension to the process instead.

Rather than retiring to prepare his recommendations for the government, Mr Gray will return to Suffolk on May 21 for the final arguments from Onslow Suffolk and Persimmon Homes.

Before Mr Gray are applications for the indoor ski slope complex - proposed for the former Mason's quarry at Great Blakenham, an adjacent 421-home development and a new railway station for the village.

Following closing arguments from the barrister representing the SnOasis Community Alliance, which opposes the projects, Meyric Lewis, the barrister acting for Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council, yesterday urged Mr Gray to recommend to the government that the schemes be given the go-ahead.

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He told the inquiry: “The SnOasis development would make a valuable contribution to meeting job targets and economic regeneration and growth objectives.”

And he said the sites selected for the developments represent “an altogether sustainable planning proposal”.

He added: “The station at Great Blakenham would offer a similar level of service to that currently available at Stowmarket which operates as a popular, effective and viable commuter station.

“The inspector is respectfully urged to recommend to the Secretary of State that the application proposals be approved.”

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