Brighton seafront wheel approved – opening planned for this summer

Posted On 27 Apr 2011 at 10:49 pm

A 150ft ferris wheel for Brighton seafront was given planning permission today with the owner planning to have it up and running by the summer.

The big wheel – called the Brighton Wheel – has been given temporary permission for five years on a site just east of the Palace Pier opposite the Terraces and the Aquarium.

Dozens of residents and a number of local businesses objected although there were several letters of support too.

Versions of the off-the-peg wheel are already in use in Paris and Cape Town, members of Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee were told.

Paramount Attractions, the company which plans to operate the wheel, will still need to agree a range of conditions before the wheel can be installed.

The company hopes to attract up to 250,000 customers a year with up to 280 a people at a time being carried in 36 pods.

Each pod holds six to eight people and on a clear day should provide views across the area during a ride lasting 11 to 12 minutes.

In a report recommending approval, subject to conditions, planning officers said that the wheel would boost the tourism industry and help regenerate the eastern part of the seafront.

Paramount will be required to include measures to minimise noise and improve public transport to the site.

A number of councillors expressed concerns about whether there would be enough toilets in the area.

A council spokesman said:  “We had to weigh up the pros and cons of this scheme and there were many people making representations on both sides.

“We felt that on balance the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, especially given that this is a temporary consent.

“We’re still hopeful that the i360 viewing tower will be delivered at the West Pier site.

“But for now this attraction will bring some benefits to the seafront and help our local businesses through the recession.”

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