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Application made for Plymouth's Big Wheel to stay in city

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 01, 2013

Wheels Entertainment Ltd has submitted a planning application to Plymouth City Council to retain the 53m-high observation wheel for another year

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A planning application has been submitted which could see Plymouth's imposing Big Wheel retained on the Hoe.

The application, from Wheels Entertainment Ltd, based in Staffordshire, has been sent to Plymouth City Council's planning department, requesting the retention of the 53m high observation wheel along with associated buildings and catering unit "until February 28, 2014".

The application states there will be 20 full-time workers and 10 part-time workers. It also notes the wheel will operate 10am to 10pm seven days a week, including Bank Holidays. The application is backed by a study by chartered surveyors Roger Etchells and Co who state: "During its operating term the wheel has been widely acknowledged to have been a considerable enhancement to Plymouth's tourism, retail, hospitality and city centre offering. If extended, this advantage would be extended."

Planning permission was initially approved in October 2011 and subsequently renewed until the end of 2012.

In January, it was reported that English Heritage said it had no objection to the tourist attraction being sited 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, said it was keen nothing detracted from the historically important Citadel or the Hoe's war memorials. However, in the study by Roger Etchells and Co, they found the wheel may have brought more attention to the historical features on the Hoe.

The application is expected to be decided by delegated decision by April 16.

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