The 45 metre high Brighton Wheel could be hosting its first visitors this summer if planning permission is approved by Brighton and Hove City Council on 27 April.
Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee meeting has confirmed the date of 27 April to decide the fate of the project.
The observation wheel would be a new visitor attraction for this part of the city and direct tourists to the east of the Palace Pier, an area in need of regeneration.
The privately funded project (£6 million secured by Paramount Attractions) will create 30 new full-time jobs.
From Paris and Niagra Falls to Windsor Castle and the World Heritage Site at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, observation wheels have proved extremely successful. With a tenancy lease just agreed, the Brighton Wheel is predicted to attract up to 250,000 visitors.
Adam Bates, Head of Tourism & Venues at BHCC, said, “Exciting new attractions like this only come along once in a while, especially with the funds to back them. We think this will give the tourist industry in Brighton & Hove a fantastic boost.”
Mark Jones, Chair, Brighton & Hove Hotels Association, said, “I wish, as Chair of Brighton and Hove Hotels Association, to express the support of my organisation for planning consent for the proposed Brighton Wheel. We are all excited when we hear of a new attraction or idea which could help to increase the number of visitors to our city. The Brighton Wheel would be one such attraction.”
Local Kemp Town resident, Chris Cooke, said, "The area East of the pier has long been the under appreciated jewel in the crown of the Brighton seafront, and I believe the introduction of the wheel will bring with it the much needed rejuvenation that has sadly been lacking in recent years and that it will be an asset to the wider Kemp Town area. It's about time the City implemented exciting projects such as this - we've been lacking vision for far too long"
Paramount, who are behind the proposed Brighton Wheel, recently ran a survey amongst businesses based close to the proposed Wheel site and found 99% of those surveyed are in support. Karen Howkins, director at Paramount said, “Having surveyed businesses located near the beach-front area where the Brighton Wheel would be placed, we found an overwhelmingly positive response. In fact, many local businesses we spoke to are counting on this new attraction for Brighton to help attract visitors, boost visitor spend and support the local economy, as well as to help regenerate the surrounding area and help increase footfall.”
However, the proposals are not without their detractors and the Regency Society has objected to the proposals.
The Planning Committee meeting takes place on 27 April at 2pm in the Council Chamber of Hove Town Hall (reference BH2011/00764), subject to a legal agreement and some further information, Councillors are recommended to grant planning permission.
Ian Coomber, Director of Planning (Stiles Harold Williams) and agent for the application said, “I am delighted to have acted as planning consultant on this project. The Council support recognises the positive contribution this attraction will make to this part of the seafront. The Wheel will compliment rather than conflict with the many commercial uses nearby, meets the planning policy requirements of the Council and is sufficiently remote from any residential use to prevent any harm to amenity ”
To find out more about The Brighton Wheel and the scheduled planning meeting, go to: www.brightonwheel.com and http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/downloads/bhcc/planning/Index_27-04-11.pdf.
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