Opinion: Future is as bright as snow

AFTER years of wrangling, negotiations and red tape, the dream of bringing Snoasis to Suffolk edged a huge step closer to becoming reality today.The champagne is still on ice, but the winter sports complex has been given the backing of government planning chiefs.

AFTER years of wrangling, negotiations and red tape, the dream of bringing Snoasis to Suffolk edged a huge step closer to becoming reality today.

The champagne is still on ice, but the winter sports complex has been given the backing of government planning chiefs.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears says she is “minded to approve” the project - but has asked for yet more time to reach her final verdict.

The news is positive - but campaigners fighting for and against SnOasis will be keen that there are no more delays.

After all, this is a saga which has raged since 2004.

While the crucial development, which will be built in Great Blakenham, has drawn a frosty reception from some quarters, The Evening Star has been an avid supporter from day one.

Most Read

Consider the facts:

1,470 new jobs

A £20million boost to the infrastructure of local transport, community facilities and environmental factors in the Great Blakenham area

A staggering £70m annual injection into the local economy

The creation of more than 400 homes

Added to these obvious benefits would be the construction of a stunning facility which is sure to be the envy of East Anglia, the UK and even Europe.

SnOasis would, without doubt, put Suffolk firmly on the map.

Boasting 14 winter sports disciplines and one of the world's largest indoor ski slopes, the development would be a huge boost to our county.

With 630,000 visitors expected annually, there is the potential for a major economic boom - just as millions across the country are feeling the pinch of the credit crunch.

If doubters need evidence that Suffolk is able to support an attraction such as this, just take a glance at the west of the

county.

Center Parcs, set in the beautiful surroundings of Elveden Forest, has become a hugely popular tourist spot without negatively impacting on its neighbouring communities.

If and when the project is finally rubber-stamped, developers Onslow Suffolk will use the holiday village's success story as a model for its own magnificent facility, expected to be completed in 2010.

The battle for SnOasis has been epic, but the all important verdict which will pave the way for a brighter - and more snowy - Suffolk has moved nearer.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter