SnOasis opponents' final onslaught

OPPONENTS of the huge SnOasis project today levelled a final onslaught of criticism at the £300million scheme.Planning inspector John Gray will today retire to consider his verdict and the SnOasis Community Alliance urged him to call on the government to block the moves to build the huge indoor ski slope at Great Blakenham.

OPPONENTS of the huge SnOasis project today levelled a final onslaught of criticism at the £300million scheme.

Planning inspector John Gray will today retire to consider his verdict and the SnOasis Community Alliance urged him to call on the government to block the moves to build the huge indoor ski slope at Great Blakenham.

On the final day of the public inquiry into the winter sports resort, an adjacent 421-home housing development and a proposed new railway station for the village, William Upton, the barrister acting for the alliance, said SnOasis was too big, in the wrong location and was still badly thought through.

He said: “This development would be damaging to ecology and there are habitats and species of international and national importance that will be adversely affected to a significant extent.


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“There are two fundamentally good reasons why when the British invented the sport of downhill skiing they went to the Alps, and have been doing so ever since - firstly, the actual terrain and scenery, and secondly, the reliable climate. You cannot have a good day's skiing inside a ski dome which by nature has no views, no fresh mountain air and only one main run.”

He went on to say there would be significant affect on traffic and the local economy.

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The alliance was the first to issue its closing arguments after a lengthy public inquiry at Ipswich Corn Exchange.

Barristers acting for Mid Suffolk District Council, which wants the developments to go ahead, and Onslow Suffolk, the developers behind SnOasis, were then expected to present their arguments as to why they should be allowed to be built.

The district council gave the developments outline planning approval last year but the government called them in for public inquiry.

If built, SnOasis would see the construction of an expansive winter sports resort on the former Mason's quarry site. Along with an indoor ski slope, ice skating rink, ice climbing wall and other winter sports facilities there would be a sports academy, hotel, chalets, conference centre, cinema, restaurants, nightclub and visitor centre.

The government is expected to rule on whether SnOasis should be built later this year.

Do you think SnOasis should be built? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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