Wheel deal done as attraction gets go-ahead

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THIS is a step forward in the plan to make Portsmouth seafront a premier visitor destination.

That’s the message from the city’s cultural leader after plans for a 110ft-high Ferris wheel at Clarence Pier were approved by council planning bosses.

As reported, the seafront attraction splashed out £750,000 on the structure, dubbed the ‘Solent Wheel’, to have in place by Easter.

It needed planning permission from the city council before it could be brought to the pier.

The scheme has now been given approval and the wheel is expected to arrive by next Saturday.

It will then be set up in time for visitors coming to the pier over the Easter weekend.

The family ride, which has been built in Italy by attractions firm Technical Park, will have 24 gondolas, each seating six passengers.

Confirming that permission had been granted, Portsmouth Tory culture boss Linda Symes said: ‘It’s another attraction in Southsea, this is just another of the things we need to attract more visitors.

‘This is also part of our plan to help the city grow and be a fantastic place to visit.

‘It will bring more people to the area.

‘The views across the Solent will be fantastic.’

Pier co-owner Jill Norman said: ‘We have got a wonderful opportunity to bring a first-class attraction to the city.’

Concerns were raised by Natural England that migrating birds would fly into the gondolas, but was then satisfied the ride would not be moving fast enough to cause any harm to wildlife.