Brighton 'O' looks likely to be rejected

Posted On 01 Jan 2010 at 11:56 pm

The proposed Brighton ‘O’ observation wheel looks likely to be rejected by councillors when they reach a decision in less than a fortnight’s time.

The 60 metre high spokeless wheel would sit on the seafront opposite the Hilton Brighton Metropole in King’s Road – just to the east of the West Pier.

The scheme would occupy the site next to the proposed i360 although it is entirely unrelated.

The Brighton ‘O’ is intended to operate from 10am to midnight seven days a week and all year round.

The Spearhead

It would be operated by a company called Paramount Attractions, run by a businessman called Jeffrey Sanders.

Ian Coomber, of Stiles Harold Williams, the solicitors, has written to Brighton and Hove City Council on behalf of Paramount Attractions.

Mr Coomber said that the scheme would add to the vibrancy of the seafront “significantly increasing the tourist offer of the city”.

He said: “Visitors to the attraction are also likely to support local bars, restaurants, shops and hotels.

“It will provide breathtaking views of the sea, surrounding architecture and the heritage of the city.”

He said that financing for the £6 million scheme was already in place.

He added that Paramount Attractions was “a business with extensive experience in providing entertainment facilities for families on seafront locations including Eastbourne and the Isle of Wight”.

The boundary of the proposed site has been redrawn to prevent any overlap with the i360 construction compound.

Mr Coomber said: “The project has deliberately intended to be a ‘good neighbour’ to the i360 – as a 60 metre observation wheel it is not intended to compete with the i360. It is simply planned as a ‘curtain raiser’ to the main event.”

The wheel is half the height of the 135 metre London Eye but the viewing pods would look down on the Metropole. The wheel would not be as high, though, as Sussex Heights, the nearby block of flats.

Unlike the London Eye, the Brighton ‘O’ would not have any spokes. Mr Coomber said: “This groundbreaking design development makes a feature of the transparency of the wheel.”

He said that it would have 32 “transparent temperature-controlled glass pods gliding around an elegant circular frame”.

Fifty objectors have written to the council, while 95 people have written in support of the application.

The planning application for temporary use of the land – for two years – will be discussed when the council’s Planning Committee meets at Hove Town Hall at 2pm on Wednesday 13 January.

A report recommends that councillors reject the application because the scheme would interfere with the proposed Brighton Eye – the i360 – which already has permission so takes precedence.

The report also says that the Brighton ‘O’ could be too noisy after 9pm, disturbing residents and hotel guests.

The meeting to discuss the application is open to the public.

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