Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 17:50 UK

New hold-up for SnOasis project

Artists' illustration of snow dome
The SnOasis project could be delayed by two years, the developer fears

Developers of a multi-million pound winter sports complex in Suffolk say construction could be delayed for two years because of a technicality.

Onslow Suffolk were given permission to build the £350m SnOasis complex at a former quarry in Great Blakenham near Ipswich last year.

The firm believed planning applications for the detailed design work could be done in stages over two years.

Now it has been told it all must be completed before construction starts.

Managing director of Onslow Suffolk, Godfrey Spanner, said the government planning inspector had agreed on a phased process of sorting through the detailed planning issues.

'New jobs'

But that was not included in the final letter of consent from the government, he added.

"It must be changed. If we wait a further two years to start work it could cost another £15m and hold up 3,500 new jobs in the area which are desperately needed," he said.

He is now appealing to Mid-Suffolk District Council and the planning inspectorate to change the wording.

The council's chief executive Andrew Good said: "As the planning authority we are clear that this development brings a number of benefits to our community including jobs, homes and new infrastructure.

"We are making all possible efforts to explore what can be done to overcome this potential delay.

"However, the actions open to Mid-Suffolk District Council are currently limited. We are doing all that we can to work with both the developer and the Secretary of State to resolve this issue."

A Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: "The decision letter was absolutely clear that all reserved matters shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local council before any development begins.

"The developer may apply to the council to vary conditions if they choose do so but the Secretary of State has no further jurisdiction in this case".



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SEE ALSO
Four-year battle to win approval
06 Nov 08 |  Suffolk
Go-ahead for 350m SnOasis plan
08 May 08 |  Suffolk

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