Sunday, 11 November 2007

Would Suffolk Benefit From Snoasis?

A Meeting Organised By EUFO

The Ipswich Institute
7th November 2007


GODFREY SPANNER, Onslow Suffolk Limited

JOHN WILLIAMS, Snoasis Community Alliance

Plans are currently going through the public planning process to construct a large winter sports complex at Great Blakenham in Suffolk. The proposals have met with resistance from local residents, who feel that the development, if it goes ahead, could have a severe detrimental effect upon their lifestyles. Equally, the prospect of the development, with the thousands of jobs that it would create, is one that is welcomed by a number of groups within Suffolk.

The question of Snoasis is of interest at a broader level, as it provides a clear example of the difficulties in balancing the broad benefits to the community that are to be gained from development and progress, whilst acknowledging that the external costs of the development will weigh very heavily on the narrower section of society affected by that development. This process is further hampered by dealing with the prospect of events yet to happen in an uncertain future, which brings into question the way in which we, as a community, deal with risk in our public affairs. We do not have any simple answers to these questions, but I feel that we have made a start in understanding them.

We deliberately avoided taking a sample of opinions at the meeting because we felt that would detract from our aims. We wanted to provide an evening where the issues could be aired, both for and against Snoasis, with the intention of leaving it to the audience to make up their own minds after further reflection. On the whole, I think that we achieved this objective. For my part, it certainly helped me to clarify my thoughts on the issue.

The meeting captured the imagination of the general public, and was considerably over-subscribed. It attracted the attention of the local press both before the meeting (see article) and after the meeting (see article). we apologise to all of those who widshed to attend, but who we were unable to accommodate. I hope that our meeting report can help to provide a bit of illumination on the subject.

READ the full report.

No comments: