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SnOasis complex gets go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 13:51 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 05 July 2010

SUFFOLK is set to go ski crazy after the £300million SnOasis complex got the official thumbs up from government chiefs today.

The winter sports complex will feature Europe's largest indoor ski slope, provide nearly 1,500 jobs and an estimated £70m boost for the local economy.

SUFFOLK is set to go ski crazy after the £300million SnOasis complex got the official thumbs up from government chiefs today.

The winter sports complex will feature Europe's largest indoor ski slope, provide nearly 1,500 jobs and an estimated £70m boost for the local economy.

The ambitious plans, which also include a new railway station for Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, and a 421-home housing development in the village, were given the green light today by communities secretary Hazel Blears following months of wrangling over final details.

Work is expected to get under way preparing the site as early as spring next year.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director of developers Onslow Suffolk, said he was more than happy about the news, which had taken seven years of work by his 28-strong team to achieve.

“We have now got a target and can set our programme and we can start to procure the people who are going to build this. We are ready to go.”

He did not think the credit crunch would affect the plans and hopes to start work on re-homing the great crested newts on the site in March next year.

John Williams from the SnOasis Community Alliance - a grouping of parish councils against the ski slope - said: “I feel saddened that at a time when we have a new president in the United States who has vowed to improve the environment that we could have our own government who has gone against that and developed the largest refrigerator in the world.”

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