Plans for giant wheel on Worthing seafront recommended for approval

Plans for a giant observation wheel on Worthing seafront have been recommended for approval in a report to councillors.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 11:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 11:46 am

The Worthing Observation Wheel would be situated on the seafront in the area between The Beacon and the Beach Office at the bottom of Montague Place for three years.

A report to councillors recommends that the plans are approved when they come before Worthing’s planning committee next Wednesday.

The applicant, deKoning Leisure Ltd, said the wheel was expected to generate a total council revenue of £180,000 per year, according to the report.

An impression of the wheel at Worthing seafront

The wheel will operate between 10am and 10pm, seven days a week between March and November for three years, and is expected to attract 100,000 visitors per year.

A total of 86 objections to the plans have been received, the majority from people who live close to the application site.

One resident raised concerns that wheel-users would be able to look through his bedroom window into his home in Beaulieu Court and described the wheel itself as ‘an eyesore’.

The report notes that the wheel, which will be 46m tall, is ‘quite clearly a significant structure’ but said that such wheels were ‘not uncommon’ in towns and cities – concluding that the application was acceptable in terms of its impact upon the visual character of the area.

An impression of the wheel at Worthing seafront

It added that the distance between the 36 pods on the wheel and the nearest residential properties ‘far exceeded’ the council’s overlooking standard of 21 metres.

The pods will be continually moving and visitors are likely to be looking at more distant views, the report states, concluding that any overlooking of nearby homes would be ‘of a somewhat transitory nature’.

A total of 76 letters in support of the scheme have been received.

The report said it was ‘notable’ that the Town Centre Intiative, the Chamber of Commerce and various nearby business owners had supported the wheel, which it said would ‘attract visitors to the town’ and in turn ‘help its economic prosperity’.

Drone photos of the wheel that was situated at Steyne Gardens last Easter

The application will be debated at a planning meeting at Worthing town hall at 6.30pm on Wednesday, March 27.