Big wheel to roll on for another year

THE operators of Sheffield's big wheel are set to gain a one-year extension to their six-month permit.

Great City Attractions, which runs the giant structure in Fargate, currently has permission to occupy the site until the end of next month. But now the company is seeking planning permission to continue running the attraction until the January 2011.

Despite initial controversy over the scheme, Sheffield Council planning officers have recommended councillors grant an extension when they meet on Monday January 4.

In a report officers said: "The visual impact of the observation wheel on the city skyline is widely regarded as successful. Given the continued temporary nature of the structure and its wider economic benefit its presence in this location for an additional 12 months is welcomed.

"It is clear that although not ideal in the long term, the siting of the wheel has allowed suitable space for pedestrians to manoeuvre in a safe and free manner."

Yorkshire Water complained that the wheel is sited over a sewer and water main, but officers said the issue was "not considered to have any undue influence" on the outcome of the application.

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