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Cornwall could get its first ski and snowboard park

snowboard

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:10pm 23rd February 2018. (Updated at 7:35am 25th February 2018)

Plans that could see Cornwall's first outdoor dry ski and snowboard park have been revealed.

Supporters have deemed it an 'exciting project' which could put Par 'on the map' and planners say it could create between 30 and 40 new full time jobs for the area.

The potential multi-million pound resort is still in the early stages of planning, but those behind the idea say it will be set on farmland and include a alpine-style visitor centre building with a restaurant and bar, main snowboard slope, a nursery area for learning and a tube run.

It will also include improved access and parking for the infant and junior school nearby.

Dan Oldford, owner of East Crinnis Holiday Park, where the site will be built, said: "Part of the slope itself, we are going to try and push extreme sports, so there will kit and rails for jumps and tricks.

"Part of it will be a trampoline park area where kids or older, more enthusiastic adults can have a go at bagging tricks like backflips, grabs and things like that and then take it to jumps with inflatable landing platforms and then they can take it onto the slope.

"So it is quite an exciting, all-round project."

east crinnis

According to planners, the resort will also include a small housing scheme of five or six open-market houses.

Dan says he was inspired to start the project after spending two years in Austria skiing and snowboarding, where he instructed alongside other jobs in the snow industry.

He said: "It's an idea that's been banging around for years and years, and at the moment we've explored it in more detail and more depth, and in the last year it's gained momentum to try and achieve that."

In the past, other proposals in Truro and Newquay have also been put forward - and been accepted - but did not get built.

Dan said: "The other proposals never came to fruition, but the reason I think it will work here in Cornwall is that we have a county full or surfers and board sport fanatics now.

"We are really determined to make it work and we are really passionate as a family about making it work.

"We know a thing or two about running visitor attractions as well through previous employment and we just feel the time is right now to give Cornwall this new leisure facility.

"We hope the county will come and join in and be part of the journey with us."

slope

Dry ski slope at Kidsgrove. Image by Steve Lewin. 

People are now being invited to come and share their thoughts with Dan and the planning team behind the proposal, locally-based Situ8 Planning Consultancy.

Managing director Angela Warwick said: "It's sounds ambitious but it's just really exciting and we are at the grassroots stage at the moment.

"We haven't gone into planning, we are consulting the local community and councillors and schools first.

"I think what we are trying to do is extend the tourism industry to that it can be sustainable all year - it's our biggest industry and it's really important.

"Young people don't have an awful lot to do either down here and we want to make this accessible and affordable for the local people.

"We've got an opportunity here to diversify this farming land into something exciting for Cornwall and put Par on the map.

"We're hoping for at least 30-40 full time jobs as a result of this, which is hugely exciting."

They will be hosting a public consultation from 5-8pm on Monday at Biscovey Academy, which will give everyone a chance to get a look and feel of the project,.

They will also be able to see a demonstration on a small ramp outside the school.

Dan said: "We've had some really good reaction, particularly with families with kids who know the St Austell area well.

"This gives people the chance to get some really lovely family days out with us, get involved with learning new sports.

"There's been some people who don't like the change, which is only natural I think with any kind of development."

The project also includes an organisation called Pro Slope, who have created new material technology which will be less bristly and use much more give than what traditional dry ski slopes offer.

Jordan Prowse, Cornwall councillor for Par and St Blazey Gate, said: "This proposal is both interesting and exciting, and I am most certainly supportive of it in principle. A good news story for a change.

"I never thought in a million years Par could be home to Cornwall's first ski resort, but how fantastic would this be for our local area.

"I have been made aware of concerns over the 'small housing scheme' that is proposed along with this project, but I am led to believe it is going to be a maximum of six properties with the money from these going straight back in to help fund the ski resort. Call if a necessary evil if you will.

"This local project is being put forward by a local resident. This farm has been in their family for over a 100 years and the fields are not currently farmed.

"I admire such an innovative approach to finding an alternative use for these fields, rather than just filling them up with houses.

"As the youngest councillor in Cornwall, I believe in having a bright vision for our county and, after all, isn't innovation what we're all about down here? See what the Eden Project did for our county.

"I am a firm believe that we should make use of our unique geography, whether that's surfing or snowboarding.

"It is unlikely that this project will happen anywhere else in Cornwall, and I believe this is a perfectly good location for such a project.

"If this is to move forward, then I will be sure to work with both the local community and the applicant to ensure what we get is the best for Par, and for Cornwall.

"Let's put Par on the map."

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