The Brighton O application has been withdrawn just hours before it was due to be discussed by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee.
Officers had recommended that Paramount Attractions’s plans for a huge ferris wheel should be refused as it would interfere with the construction of the i360 observation tower, dubbed the Brighton Eye.
The decision was deferred until this afternoon to allow the developers to submit more information – but planner still said it should be refused.
However, the Brighton O team – which already has £6 million in place to complete the project – is continuing to work in partnership with the Council to agree an alternative site on Brighton seafront, with the aim of opening the attraction in 2010.
A spokesperson from Paramount Attractions, said: “Our proposal has met with overwhelming support from businesses within the city, who recognise the tremendous economic boost that our attraction will bring. It has also been welcomed by local residents and the conservation advisory group, which includes English Heritage, voted in favour of it. So, when the new site is agreed, we will be able to move forward very quickly.”
Council Leader Mary Mears said: “The Brighton O developer has withdrawn the planning application for this site, however this is not be the end of the story. The council are supporting Paramount in their quest to bring the Brighton O observation wheel to another site in the city.
“The planning consultation showed there was a lot of support for the ‘O’ because of the economic and tourism benefits it would bring. Some of the objectors also commented that they could support the idea if it was on another site.
“The council worked hard with the developer to resolve the situation and I’m pleased the Brighton ‘O’ team remains keen to develop this project in Brighton & Hove.”
Paramount confirmed that funding is now in place and construction can start right away, subject to temporary planning permission.
Meanwhile, work to take away the West Pier’s collapsed concert hall – part of the preparation for building the i360 – is now underway.
More as we get it.