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Seafront wheel to miss deadline

PUBLISHED: 20:17 14 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:01 22 October 2010

EDP artist Annette Hudson's impression of how the Pleasure Beach in Yarmouth would look with a big wheel.

EDP artist Annette Hudson's impression of how the Pleasure Beach in Yarmouth would look with a big wheel.

Yarmouth's answer to the London Eye will not now be spinning this year after all after complaints about potential interference to television reception pushed a planning decision outside the tight time-scale required for its erection this summer.

Yarmouth's answer to the London Eye will not now be spinning this year after all.

The resort's latest attraction is to remain in storage in the Far East after complaints about potential interference to television reception pushed a planning decision outside the tight time-scale required for its erection this summer.

It means that the £1m attraction, to be built on the Pleasure Beach at the end of the Golden Mile, will not be up and running until this time next year.

When the plans were announced at the end of May, Pleasure Beach owner Albert Jones said it would be a race against time to ship the 200ft wheel from Japan in time for the end of the summer season.

Mr Jones had already trumped developers in Norwich, whose similar idea came unstuck following a public outcry into plans to site the wheel outside the Forum in the city centre.

But yesterday he said he was relying on the Yarmouth plans to be approved by the borough council quickly under delegated authority.

Now that complaints have been received it will go through a full planning committee which will delay a decision until mid-summer.

Mr Jones said that while he was disappointed that the big wheel would not now be in place this year, the additional time would give his team a chance to landscape the site better.

“It's been called in to the planning committee because they want to make sure everything's right and there's no interference with television aerials,” he said.

“It could now take a lot longer than anticipated and we will not sign any contract until planning permission has been granted.

“Because of that there's little prospect of us getting the 30 containers needed shipped over from the Far East, plus it all assembled, before the end of summer.”

Mr Jones said the delay would give him an opportunity to look elsewhere to see if a new wheel could be manufactured in Europe cheaper than the nine-month-old wheel, which has already been used in an exhibition in Japan, could be shipped over.

He added: “This is part of a major development for the site and the added time will allow us to landscape it better and also build the wheel out-of-season.

“We have been working very hard with the council, they have been very supportive, and if we get planning permission it is definitely still going to be built.”

Senior planner Ed Guilder said yesterday: “We have had a handful of written complaints. People are concerned about what it's going to look like, how it's going to spoil their view and the quiet of the seafront.”

He said the issue would be discussed during the council's development control committee on Tuesday.


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