The Worthing Observation Wheel (WOW) – the largest of its type on the south coast – will arrive on the seafront this summer after plans were approved by councillors.
DeKoning Leisure is behind the proposal for the 46-metre attraction which will pop up on the promenade at the bottom of Montague Place, giving visitors the chance to take in 360 degree panoramic views stretching up to ten miles.
With the promise of bringing in about 100,000 visitors a year and boosting income for local traders, Worthing Borough Council’s Planning Committee gave the go-ahead for the wheel to operate every summer until 2021 at a meeting last night (March 27, 2019).
Work on the structural base will start in the coming weeks. It is hoped the bespoke wheel will then be lifted into place, ready to start operating in time for the summer holidays.
The 36-pod wheel has been given permission to be in place from March to November for three years. It will be able to operate between 10am and 10pm seven days a week, although this will be reduced at quieter times.
The application also permits the creation of a structural base, access ramps and payment and photo booths.
Councilors heard that when operating the electric-powered wheel will make the same amount of noise as an electric car. No music or PA system will be used.
The report presented to the application noted that the wheel would “provide some enhancement to the appearance and character of the seafront” while Heritage England said it did not believe the temporary structure would have a significant impact on the surrounding conservation area.
A standard ticket would be £7 adults and children £5 with a family ticket £20. DeKoning Leisure, who have a track record of successfully running similar attractions in Stratford, Manchester and Silverstone, claim that visitors will be able to see sights up to ten miles away.
The applications stated the WOW would create 20 jobs, as well as generating a potential income to the council of £180,000 a year, which will be reinvested back into the town and local services.