Big wheel impact to be considered
THE organisation charged with protecting historic landmarks will scrutinise the planning application for the Hoe's big wheel – and said it doesn't want any permanent damage done to the site.
English Heritage has previously said it had no objection to the tourist attraction being sited on the Hoe throughout 2012, as long as it did not become a more permanent fixture.
The organisation, which exists to protect and promote England's spectacular historic environment and ensure its past is researched and understood, is keen nothing detracts from the historically important Citadel or the Hoe's war memorials.
The Wheel of Plymouth's new operator, Wheels Entertainments, has said it wants to continue at the waterfront site.
It aims to reopen for the school half-term holiday, beginning on February 16, and stay open until September. The 53-metre high structure's new owner Freij World Attractions, Wheels Entertainments' parent, is due to submit a planning application to Plymouth City Council.
However, an English Heritage spokesman said: "We have not yet been consulted about plans to retain the tourist wheel at Plymouth Hoe but once the planning application is received, we will carefully consider the impact of the structure on this historic landscape. As well as the nearby Citadel which is a Scheduled Monument, the Hoe contains many important, highly graded war memorials and we would not wish to see their setting harmed permanently."
The wheel had been due to stop turning when its planning permission expired on December 31. In fact, it was originally planned for the attraction to be dismantled last November. But the Wheel of Plymouth is now in the hands of Freij World Attractions, the world's biggest fun fair company, which wants to continue running it in Plymouth, provided it is financially viable.
It operated the wheel until last Sunday, January 6, when it shut. The company told The Herald it was about to submit a new planning application.
The Wheel of Plymouth had originally arrived in the city in 2011, and was granted planning permission to keep turning until the end of 2012.
But it had a mixed summer, last year, which saw it hit by wet weather and former operator, Birmingham's Great City Attractions Global Limited, falling into administration and ceasing trading in August.
Shipley Investments brought in another operator, The Hall Organisation Ltd, to run it. But it closed again and was due to be dismantled prior to being removed and the land restored to its previous condition by last Monday.
However, when Freij took control it immediately said it wanted the wheel to stay.