|View of the Wheel from the west|
"the project will have wide-ranging implications on the appearance of the East Cliff conservation area, strategic views of the coastline and, crucially, the local residential neighbourhood."
What are these "strategic views"? The wheel will obscure a tiny portion of Kingscliffe when viewed from the Palace Pier and, as a counterpoint to the period architecture, it will surely enhance and enliven the scene. Viewed from the east or west along the coast it will be seen edge-on and hardly noticeable.
"Temporary or permanent, the wheel will likely appear to bear down and intrude on the local area . . and the decision to allow the project. . . undervalues the impact the scheme will have on plans to regenerate the Terraces."
It depend on what is meant by "local area" and being that the Wheel is of openwork construction and a football pitch away from the nearest residential properties, its potential to offend by "bearing down" seems rather limited. It is likely to attract substantial numbers to the east of the Pier and almost certainly increase trade in the nearby holiday shops and restaurants, most of whom are in favour of the project.
"Inadequate consideration has been given to the impact the scheme will have."
The application was received by the Planning Department on 16th March and was approved on 27th April. In the interim there was apparently time for the Wheel to be supported by the Conservation Advisory Group and for 64 letters of approval to have been submitted as against 49 of objection. It is difficult to imagine what "adequate consideration" would have consisted of that would have persuaded the Planning Committee to reject the application.
This whole episode reminds one forcibly of the opposition to the London Eye, lead by Norman St.John-Stevas, who feared for the views from or to (I can't remember which) the Houses of Parliament. Since then the Eye has become a hugely popular and admired feature of the London skyline and I venture to guess that any suggestion now for its removal would be met with howls of protest and an instant vociferous campaign of opposition.