Big Wheel: Consultation deadline extended

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How the wheel will look in Stratford-upon-Avon.

OPERATORS of a proposed big wheel in Stratford-upon-Avon have now submitted further information about the wheel to Stratford District Council which means the period of consultation has a revised deadline of Monday 13th June.

Many residents and local businesses have been strongly opposed to a temporary observation wheel being rigged up on the Recreation Ground next to Stratford Boat Club, citing reasons of privacy, unsuitability, concerns over heritage and conservation and wildlife as grounds for refusing the application.

An original public consultation sparked angry reaction with very limited numbers in favour of having a wheel; those that did give the wheel the thumbs up argued it was time for Stratford to have something different “to do” other than just Shakespeare.

Wheel operators De Koning Leisure Group Limited has in its latest submission attempted to address some of the “inconsistencies” in the original application that caused a landslide of public opposition in March and April.

De Koning has confirmed the height of the proposed wheel would be 34 metres and they add that the nearest residential property is 50 metres away from the wheels location so concerns over privacy would not be an issues as riders would be more interested in looking at the historic panorama of Stratford.

De Koning argues that the impact on nearby heritage sites is “highly subjective – it could be said that the stylish and graceful outline of the wheel may temporarily complement the surrounding heritage assets.”

Addressing the issue of lighting De Koning says the wheel will not be illuminated outside the proposed operating hours from 10am to 10pm.

Concerns have also been raised about the increase in pedestrian traffic on Tramway Bridge and Southern Lane once the wheel became operational but De Koning does not believe this to be a problem and has contingency plans including pedestrian barriers to manage a large influx of people. At capacity the wheel could carry 144 riders.

Tony Godel, who is leading the Stop The Wheel campaign doesn’t agree. He’s urging residents and businesses opposed to the wheel to submit their comments to the district council as soon as possible.

“The statement of the applicant shows total disregard to the overlooking nature of the wheel to all residential properties and B&B’s and to the observations made in The Historic England Consultative Document relating to heritage and conservation,” Mr Godel said.

Stratford District Council this week confirmed that the applicant had submitted some additional information as part of the original application and this additional information is now subject to further consultation with a deadline of 13th June.

Observations and comments about the big wheel can be submitted to Stratford District Council via planning.applications@stratford-dc.gov.uk using reference number 16/00562/FUL