A decision on the Brighton Wheel’s application to extend planning permission for five years has been delayed following last minute objections from the Brighton i360.The wheel’s bid to stay open until 2020 has been fiercely opposed by the i360, which says it was only allowed to open on condition it closed once the latter’s viewing tower opened.
The application was due to have been considered by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee this afternoon – but it was withdrawn from the agenda after the i360 cited case law pertaining to a windfarm in East Northamptonshire.
A council spokeswoman said: “The wheel’s application has been withdrawn from the agenda while we consider legal representations from a third party.”
Delso Da Silva, manager of the Brighton Wheel, said: “We lodged this planning application in good time for a renewal and to create early comfort to staff that we want to carry on.
“The application has been thoroughly vetted by the planning officer and is recommended for approval. We will just now have to wait just a little longer for a decision but it is not easy when all we are trying to do is run a local business.
“We have never attacked the i360, the city has ample scope to accommodate tourism development. I am at a loss to understand why they see us as such a threat.”
Ian Coomber, head of town planning at Stiles Harold Williams, which wrote the wheel’s application, said: “It is with deep regret the report recommending approval of planning permission for five more years of the wheel will not be endorsed today by democratically elected representatives of Brighton and Hove City Council.
“Council planning staff are delaying a decision for three weeks on receipt of what appears to be a third objection lodged by the i360 team a mile along the seafront. This time it cites case law regarding wind farms of all things – basically a load of hot air.
“As a town planner I recognise the degree to which decisions on planning applications impact on peoples’ lives.
“Staff at the wheel just want to carry on doing a good job for the city – it is frustrating this is delayed on account of a letter from a London law firm raising matters not material to the planning application.
“I am deeply worried by the amount of influence the i360 team have on all development on the seafront when decisions should be made by elected representatives and promptly when real jobs and people are involved.”