Planning thaw for £300m winter sports centre

Grant Prior 10 years ago
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Plans to build a £300m indoor ski centre in Suffolk have been given a boost following talks with the Department for Transport.

Developer Onslow Suffolk has been hit with a series of planning setbacks for its SnOasis development near Ipswich which was due to start on site last year.

Transport chiefs have now told Onslow to submit a business plan for a railway station at Great Blakenham.

If approved, it would be included in the next tendering process for railway operators which will begin in 2013 allowing the SnOasis complex to open in 2015.

Building a new railway station is a condition of the planning permission for the complex, which was granted to Onslow by Mid Suffolk District Council in 2008.

Godfrey Spanner, manager of Onslow Suffolk, told the BBC: “The hold-up has been that we have not had the ability to negotiate terms of operating our railway station with a railway operator.

“There were no promises made by the DfT, but we found a path forward that will allow us to be included in the next round of tenders and the next railway operator should be in place in 2014.

“We’re no longer at stalemate and I’m very optimistic for the first time in 18 months.”

Spanner said the investors are still in place and he estimated SnOasis would open in 2015.

The Mountfield Group has been lined-up for several contracts on the job.

 

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