The News Comment: Giant wheel could make a great attraction at Southsea

The Solent Eye will cost �750,000
The Solent Eye will cost �750,000
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When plans were first proposed for the Spinnaker Tower late in the last century there were plenty of naysayers and people who said it would never work.

Granted, it had a gestation that took it well beyond its deadline as a millennium scheme, and the cost was far in excess of the original budget.

But how many of us think of those things first when we look at it now?

Whatever you may think of its recent paint job and rebranding as the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, these days you’d be hard-pressed to find another single object that so neatly captures the public image of Portsmouth.

Now the owners of Clarence Pier are raising another eyecatching and potentially controversial scheme by reviving their intentions to put a 110ft high Ferris wheel on the seafront. The scheme was last raised in 2007, but never came to fruition thanks to the economic downturn.

Obviously the new version will need to go through the planning process like any other proposal and subject to the full public scrutiny that brings.

Providing it does not overwhelm its surroundings and is found to be a suitable fit for the area, then The News supports the scheme.

It would provide another attraction to our seafront area and help revitalise an area that it is fair to say, doesn’t all look up to scratch.

Comparisons to The London Eye may be a fanciful step too far, and it is unlikely to attain the iconic quality of the Spinnaker, but every time something new appears, it help improve the overall offer the city provides to visitors and residents alike.

And with plans for South Parade Pier moving forward as well, we may soon once more have a seafront we can justifiably be proud of.