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Snow dome plan for the Summit
Tuesday, 03 August 2004
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HIGH Wycombe is set to get an indoor ski arena with real snow to replace Wycombe Summit.

The SnowDome group, the owner of the dry ski slope in Abbey Barn Lane, is in talks with Wycombe District Council over replacing the facility with an enclosed piste, similar to one in Milton Keynes.

Martin Smith, SnowDome group managing director, said: "We are in discussions with the council the opportunity to bring real snow to the site is something of interest to us."

The company made its aspirations to build a snow dome in the town clear when it bought Wycombe Summit out of receivership at the end of last year for an undisclosed sum.

At 300 metres, Wycombe Summit's main slope is the longest in England. The business also boasts a ski and snowboard school as well as nursery slopes on the 70-acre site.

Mr Smith added that any new indoor facility would be built around the route of the current slope and would cater for families as well as serious skiers with activities such as tobogganing and snow tubing.

A spokesman f o r Wycombe District Council confirmed it has had some initial discussions with the owners of Wycombe Summit regarding a snow dome on this site but has not received any formal applications.

The company owns a snow dome in Tamworth, Staffordshire, consisting of a 170-metre real snow slope open throughout the year, but does not own the facility in Milton Keynes.

There are currently only three indoor real snow arenas in the UK. The snow is created by guns that force pressurised air through chilled water to produce a fine mist which freezes to form snow crystals.

Cllr Kathy Dix (Con, Ryemead) who supported the building of Wycombe Summit, said the idea of a snow dome sounded exciting but she needed to see the plans before forming an opinion of any development.

Cllr Peter Cartwright, (Con, Ryemead) said he would be following any application with interest as he looks out on the Summit from his home across the valley in Guinions Road.

In July 1999 outline permission was given for a 3,000 sq metre health and fitness centre at Wycombe Summit and full permission was granted in September last year. The SnowDome Group inherited this plan when it bought the business but construction of that has been put on hold while discussions about the future of the slope take place.

By James Young

orginal article from bucksfreepress



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