Text your support for SnOasis

IT IS a multi-million bid that promises to transform the face of Ipswich – and today it needs your support. Proposals to build the £300million SnOasis complex are the biggest the area has ever seen – but the project's developers are still locked in a battle with Mid Suffolk's planning authorities to win approval.

IT IS a multi-million bid that promises to transform the face of Ipswich – and today it needs your support.

Proposals to build the £300million SnOasis complex are the biggest the area has ever seen – but the project's developers are still locked in a battle with Mid Suffolk's planning authorities to win approval.

The future of Ipswich promises to be a fantastic one with the building of a university and the waterfront and the SnOasis complex can only serve to boost that.

So today developers, along with The Evening Star, are today asking you to join the county's sport stars and back a new campaign.

Ipswich Town footballers and skiing protege Alessia Thomas-Jackson are leading the way in a new text campaign.

The SnOasis text campaign asks people to text the word SNOW, and their name and postcode, to text number 81025.

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Developers are trying to rally support for the project, set for Great Blakenham.

If given the go-ahead, the development will be the fourth biggest our country has seen – only overshadowed by the Millennium Dome, the Eden Project, and Wembley Stadium – and will bring huge financial benefits to the county.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director of the developers Onslow Suffolk, said: "We know that the overwhelming majority of people in this region and many from further afield are desperate for SnOasis to happen.

"This campaign gives everyone a chance to help make it a reality.

"All they have to do is text and they help us let the planners and politicians know that people really want SnOasis to become reality."

All that currently stands in the way of the project is the planning department at Mid Suffolk District Council.

A planning application was lodged in June last year but has yet to make it before councillors.

The plans include the biggest indoor ski slope in the world, a 537-home development, a railway station, 18 restaurants, an eight-screen cinema, 350 self-catering chalets, a 350 room 4-star hotel and a 200 bed hostel.

Ipswich Town captain Jim Magilton said: "I think SnOasis is a fantastic idea - something my kids would really love.

"All our fans should get behind the campaign.

"It's only a shame that, as professional footballers, none of us lads will be able to use the slope until we've stopped playing."

Alessia Thomas-Jackson, from Haverhill is one of the country's top young skiers. The 11-year-old hopes to represent Britain in the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

She currently struggles to find suitable training venues and hopes the SnOasis development is given the go-ahead.

She said: "Everyone should support the SnOasis campaign.

"When it is open it will be brilliant and really help get young kids in to skiing and help us develop champion skiers."

Do you want to see the SnOasis development go ahead? As well as texting your support, Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

October 2002: Proposals for SnOasis winter sports resort unveiled

During 2003: Support for scheme from winter sports officials

June 18, 2004: Formal planning application lodged with Mid Suffolk district council

July 2004: Consortium of parish councils set up to oppose development, appoint former county councillor John Williams as their spokesman

November 2004: Application was due to be discussed by Mid Suffolk district council - put off until January

December 2004: Developers told application will not be discussed until the end of April

June 2005: Still no date for the application to be considered

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