Bassingbourn snow centre saved

The Snow Centre

The Snow Centre - Credit: Archant

BASSINGBOURN Snowsports Centre will be allowed to continue operating at its Bassingbourn Barracks headquarters after a Ministry of Defence (MoD) U-turn.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which now oversees the barracks, had served noticed that the club would have to leave at the end of its lease in March, due to the changes taking place there.

But following months of lobbying from club members and Cllr Linda Oliver, the DIO has had a change of heart.

Cllr Oliver is “delighted” with the news.

She said: “It’s brilliant that the Bassingbourn Snowsports Centre has been given permission to stay. Now we want to see if we can get them to agree to something to help the other clubs and organisations too.”

A meeting arranged by Cllr Oliver was due to take place yesterday, (Wednesday), so that more detailed discussions about access to the site could take place between the clubs and the DIO.

The future of the barracks was thrown into doubt when the army announced it was pulling out last year. The last troops left in March. The MoD has yet to announce its long-term plan for the site, but is set to do so in September.

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“We want to get something sorted so all the clubs can stay until at least September,” added Cllr Oliver. “There is money available thanks to the armed forces covenant which can be used by the DIO for security and maintenance.”

David Allanson, chairman of Bassingbourn Snowsports Centre, said the club was investigating the viability of different options available to it for its continued stay at Bassingbourn. These include a new, longer, lease and establishing separate access to the slope away from the barracks’ main gate.

In a letter to members, he said: “On Friday we had a meeting with the DIO at the slope, and discussed the options for access. It appears the DIO will be fairly flexible so the first five options in our Save Our Slope document are viable.

“We are proceeding to arrange a meeting with South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning department to discuss the options, and so we can understand potential issues and determine the best option, before we submit a planning application.”

He added the club continues to investigate the prospect of building a new slope at the Cemex cement works site in Barrington.