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MASS PROTEST AT DRY SKI SLOPE - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Monday April 29, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Hundreds of people have protested against plans to scrap a dry ski slope to make way for a housing development.




The ‘Fill The Hill' event at the Gosling Ski Centre in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire took place on Sunday.

Organisers say around 450 turned up.

It coincided with the first ski race of the summer season at the site.

"We were blown away by the level of support - by the skiers who were racing, the spectators and all the many others from the Welwyn Hatfield community who chose to spend some of their Sunday standing on the Gosling ski slope to show how much they want to keep it as a valuable sports facility, WGC Ski Race Club said.

There were speeches from a Liberal Democrat county councillor and the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield who both support the campaign to keep the centre open.

"They both spoke well and reminded the crowd that it is the current Conservative-led council that want to demolish this very valuable sports facility for local plan housing," said the Save Our Slope campaign manager Simon Godley.

"They are obviously not listening to the Welwyn Hatfield community that are clearly showing from the day's events that they want to keep the ski slope in the town."

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The centre is used by children, schools, community and disability groups and a pensioners' group.

"We understand the need for more housing, but not on this site and not at the expense of losing one of our key sporting facilities," Simon Godley told PlanetSKI.

The Local Plan for Welwyn Hatfield involves building 16,000 new homes in the district.

The campaigners want the ski slope site excluded from the Local Plan so the ski club can seek new investment to upgrade it.

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"This is a sports facility that other borough councils around the country would love to have in their area, whilst our council is happy to see it disappear," Simon Godley said.

The council debated the issue in March after being presented with a petition of 3,500 signatures but voted to reject the petition and go ahead with the housing plans.

PlanetSKI readers gave their overwhelming support to the Save Our Slope campaign when we previewed the protest in our News In Brief section (see Friday 26th).

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Another of the UK's dry ski slopes in Exeter in Devon, is also under threat as we have reported:

And see our update with the latest on Exeter in our News in Brief on 11th March:

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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