Snoasis rivals agree action is needed

RIVALS who have spent six months at loggerheads over the controversial SnOasis development have today finally found something to agree on – that a decision must be made sooner rather than later.

RIVALS who have spent six months at loggerheads over the controversial SnOasis development have today finally found something to agree on - that a decision must be made sooner rather than later.

Godfrey Spanner, the man spearheading the scheme for developers Onslow Suffolk, and John Williams, chairman of the group raising opposition, have both called for a resolution to the saga.

While Mr Spanner has criticised the long wait for a decision, Mr Williams has supported Mid Suffolk district council's planning department.

However, the two men agree it is now time for answers - more than two years after original plans were unveiled.

Mr Spanner claimed last week the £320million winter sports resort proposals were in jeopardy because of hold-ups by the district council.

The council admitted the process had been a struggle but claimed it was not in the public interest to rush.

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Mr Williams is chairman of the Suffolk Parish Group, set up in July to deal with the applications on behalf of concerned parishes.

He said: "It's got to the stage where we want a decision made so at least we know where we are.

"The council has had difficulties but it's to be expected with an application this size and amendments from the applicant have been as big a set back as any.

"We are not against the development per se, but the way the proposal is laid out at the moment.

"Our main concern is and always has been surrounding traffic and of all the amendments made, nothing has ever been done to the traffic proposals.

"We have always felt it should have been dealt with by the planning inspector so it could have been properly heard against regional and national guidance.

"It's a massive application unlike anything anyone has dealt with in region before - let alone the district.

"Everybody can see SnOasis could be fantastic but only if the right issues are addressed first."

Dates in April have now been set aside for discussions by the council.

But the wait creates problems for the removal of the site's protected great crested newts.

Mr Spanner said: "I need to keep the machine running.

"My entire professional team is standing down for four months because there's nothing for them to do.

"I'm fed up because it's not as if Onslow Suffolk turned up out of the blue with this.

"The council came up with the idea of the site being used as a tourist destination.

"I've taken that up but now they seem unable to come to terms with it."

The development includes separate bids for a train station and 500 homes.

Do you think the SnOasis development should be given the go-ahead? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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