Big wheel could be approved this week

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Stratford's big wheel as seen from Stratford Cricket Club by the Recreation Ground last summer. Photo: Mark Williamson

THE big wheel could get planning permission as soon as tomorrow, Wednesday, to operate on Stratford’s Recreation Ground for the next three years.

Council officers have recommended that members of the west area planning committee approve the application by Birmingham-based Danter Attractions at their next meeting.

If approved, it will give the company the right to run the wheel for six months of the year for the next three years.

It would operate between 10am and 9pm, seven days a week, with ticket prices already set at £5 for adults, and £4 for children and concessions.

Stratford Town Council has stopped short of objecting after discussing the application on Tuesday night, but it has said permission should only be given for one year bearing in mind the wheel is five metres higher than last year.

There have been several letters of objection, including one suggesting it was sited near to the children’s playground.

Avon Boating, which operates boat trips on the River Avon, is among the objectors.

Managing director, Nick Birch, cited several technical reasons why permission should be refused, as well as ‘the likelihood of serious and long-term damage occurring
to Stratford’s unique historical heritage and setting’.

But the council’s planning department said the wheel would ‘reinforce and promote Stratford’s role as a tourist destination’, offering ‘additional attraction within the
town’.

And it dismissed concerns about the size of the wheel and the impact on the area.

The report to councillors added: “Having regard to the proposed position of the wheel, evidence of the wheel in place last year and noting the temporary nature of the proposal, it is considered that the harm to the townscape and heritage assets falls into the less than substantial category set out in National Planning Policy Framework.”