Memories of Southsea’s big wheel

The ferris wheel at Clarence Pier
The ferris wheel at Clarence Pier

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The giant wheel planned for Southsea would not be the first on the site.

A 56-seater Corbiere Spherical ferris wheel stood for years in Clarence Pier’s old amusement park until the mid-1990s when it was dismantled and re-erected in Southport.

Plans were then submitted for a new 180ft big wheel – but they were turned down by Portsmouth councillors in 2007 for being too big. Around 25 letters of objection were submitted to the authority by residents concerned about passengers being able to see into their properties.

Revised plans then came forward for a scaled down 130ft version.

The number of pods was reduced from 40 to 30, and pier director Gill Norman feared the scheme had been robbed of is ‘wow factor’.

The revised proposal was granted planning permission later that year, but never materialised due to the economic downturn.