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What's the most stupid idea you can think of? Give up?
 
How about building the world's largest indoor ski-slope in rural East Anglia?
 
If this seems preposterous to you, it certainly doesn't to one Godrey Spanner and his backing group, the Mid-Suffolk District Council Lapdogs. These good people - famous for having achieved, according to a recent government report, a degree of unrivalled incompetence in their planning department - have approved a scheme to build a vast winter sports complex in a valley just outside Ipswich.
 
So take a walk with me now through the delights of this modern Xanadu of sporting tat. First there is the ski slope itself, proudly described by Spanner as 'the world's biggest fridge', a vast metal monster rearing 240 feet into the Suffolk sky. Then there's the rest of the complex with its hundreds of houses and chalets and several hotels. This lot will consume as much energy as a small town and use enough water to meet the requirements of a small African country. Pretty sensible, you would agree, when not only do we have global warming and an energy crisis on our hands, but Suffolk has the lowest rainfall in the country!
 
As you would expect if you've ever had anything to do with them, Mid-Suffolk District Council have approved this monster without blinking. Or thinking, probably. They might be forced to blink, though, as it's near one of the busiest military airbases in the country and will therefore need to be festooned with navigation lights. For people living within twenty miles it will be like Christmas all the year round. In fact the Snoasis lights will be so bright that you could save energy at home - just park anywhere near it and read a book for free!
 
And what obviously goes with a winter sports complex? That's right, a casino and a golf course! Must be the sort of places where all those Swiss and Austrian sports champions do their indoor training. But champions need to eat too, so Godfrey is providing a dozen restaurants. Not your gluwein and rosti sorts of places, but concessions like Auntie Mamie's Southern Fried Chicken Wings and Sharon's Pizza Parlour.
 
Anyone who has ever been skiing knows that an indoor ski-slope has as much relevance to serious winter sports as a child's paddling pool has to Olympic swimming. But not Mr Spanner. He sees it as a state-of-the-art facility and warns us that any delay in the building could prejudice Britain's chances at the next Winter Olympics. To support his claim he presents Britain's only successful downhill skier and an ex-international lady swimmer. Eddie the Eagle was otherwise engaged, presumably.
 
So what would be the cost of this monster development apart from round-the-clock traffic jams on the A14, A12, A140 and dozens of local roads?
 
Well, at a time when the entire nation is rushing around conserving every remaining animal, fiercely protecting vermin and banning hunting, Mr.Spanner and the boys will be ripping up an entire rural valley. Out will go the Pond Bat and the Great Crested Newt, both endangered species - the former of world significance. Over one hundred species of bird and dozens of badger setts will also have to go. Hard to believe when David Macaroon is riding round on his bicycle looking for hoodies and the renovation of Roman Bath has to be stopped because of a nesting bird!
 
So there you have it - "Snoasis". Not just a bad dream, but an actual proposal that one hopes and prays will be stopped when a Public Inquiry is held early next year. But whatever happens, watch out: Godfrey Spanner and the boys could pop up any time at a beauty spot near you with another bright idea to concrete over the landscape!
 
The GOS says: Our thanks to T** A****** for writing this page at our request. If you think this nonsense sounds like the Millennium Dome all over again, well you're not the only one. There is a vocal and well-organised campaign to stop this lunatic scheme. You can visit their website here.
 

 

 
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