After years of wrangling (as reported on Natives), permission has finally been granted for construction to start on SnOasis, the £350m, 400m long indoor snow slope to be built in a quarry in Suffolk, one of the flattest parts of the UK. It's set to join other indoor snowdomes planned for the UK, including Hemel Hempstead and High Wycombe...
The biggest snow slope yet
The gentle Suffolk countryside will soon be getting a lot more lively. That's because, in four years, a £350million winter sports park will tower 100m (328ft) above the ground. SnOasis will host Europe's biggest indoor ski slope, an ice climbing wall, a bobsleigh run and other sports.
Er, can you make the snow green?!
It got the go-ahead as long as problems with its environmental impact are sorted out. "We've got the green light and we're on the downward slope," a spokesman for developer Onslow Suffolk joked. Work on the project could start this year and bosses hope to have it up and running by 2012.
But there is fierce opposition from residents, who argue the development will destroy wildlife habitats and be a blight on the landscape. "With a project of this size, there are always going to be obstacles," the Onslow spokesman added. "They are not things that will stop us getting to the bottom of the slope."
The complex, just outside Ipswich, will host restaurants, bars and chalets for people to stay in. A 100m steep drop will tempt thrill-seeking skiers – and a spa will help soothe their aching muscles afterwards.