Portsmouth’s Solent Wheel returns after owner says it will not affect Brent geese

The Solent Wheel, which has returned to Clarence Pier Picture: Matthew Brown
The Solent Wheel, which has returned to Clarence Pier Picture: Matthew Brown
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THE owner of Clarence Pier has defiantly brought back a 110ft-high Ferris wheel after ‘proving’ Brent geese hitting the ride is not a problem.

Plans for the Solent Wheel to be hosted in Southsea were shelved in 2016 after a year of operation.

Natural England had warned birds could collide with the wheel’s mobile pods.

But now Jill Norman, owner of Clarence Pier, has brought the wheel back – and is hoping the attraction will be open by Easter.

Planning chiefs had granted permission for the ride to be set up and open – except for between October 1 and March 20 each year so it does not affect the migration of wintering birds.

Speaking to The News, Mrs Norman said she had a three-month bird survey carried out showing bird strikes were not a problem.

She said: ‘We’ve done a study and it proves that we don’t have a problem.

‘Obviously we’ll wait and see what the council’s got to say.

‘We’ll have to see whether they’re going to help us or not.

‘We need something quite large to promote ourselves.’

Mrs Norman hopes to open the wheel to punters between March and October.

She added: ‘It’s something that people want, we’ve done our bit to provide (the study) for them.

‘This is our home town if it doesn’t go our way we’ll have to re-think.

‘We’ll wait and see what the council’s reaction is.

‘We did everything that they requested at the time.’

Portsmouth City Council has said it is considering taking action.

Michael Lawther, city solicitor, said: ‘We are aware of this matter and we’re currently considering what action we will take.’