A MASSIVE £270 million development in Swindon labelled by one councillor as 'the most important decision for 20 years will go ahead after plans were approved.

Swindon Borough Council’s planning committee gave the 'Snoasis' scheme at North Star the green light at a meeting on November 27.

The development will be located opposite the Oasis leisure centre - which will see two ski and snow-boarding slopes, a cinema, trampoline centre, and shops, cafes restaurants and bars built on  derelict land.

Ward councillors Des Moffat and Jim Grant, both Labour, told the committee they were worried about the impact of traffic, and particularly if staff weren’t allowed to use the developments car parks.

Coun Moffatt said: “National Trust staff aren’t allowed to park at their site – it means they park in neighbouring streets and walk to work, causing trouble for residents in my ward."

But leader of the Lib Dem group in the chamber Cllr Stan Pajak said: “44 years ago the Oasis leisure centre was a landmark in leisure development. Now we can do this again all these years afterwards and again put Swindon at the top in terms of leisure. We can see this can be the best snowdome in the whole of the UK.”

Councillor Dale Heenan, Conservative cabinet member for the town centre, said the decision was the most important to be made by councillors for 20 years.

He added: “It’s about what we want Swindon to be now and what we want it to be in the future. This is a massive investment in Swindon and testament to its thriving economy. We shouldn’t defer it and talk about it for another six or 12 months, we’ve been talking about it for six years already. Let’s approve it and get on with it.”

The application was passed by 10 votes to three against.

John Watkins, a director of the developer Seven Capital said he hoped that enabling works such as demolition and site clearance could start as early as next January. He said: “We’ll be finalising the design and we’re at contractor tendering at the moment.