BANGOR’S big wheel is set for another summer comeback this year.
But local planning officials say they’re ‘hopeful’ that it won’t get a chance to be built – – because the £50m revamp of Queen’s Parade could have started by then.
That’s the position as laid out at a meeting of Ards and North Down’s Planning Committee last week.
The committee granted permission for the 34-metre panoramic wheel to be positioned on council-owned land near the seafront McKee Clock from May through September, a location that has become its regular home since the Big Wheel first visited five years ago.
Permission was also granted to build five smaller attractions for kids, including a carousel, a ‘seastorm ship’ and a helter-skelter.
During a debate on the issue, however, a senior planning official told the committee that the initial stages of the £50m revamp of Queen’s Parade could prevent the wheel from being built.
“We’re hopeful that actually we won’t be able to put it in place this summer,” said the official, “because hopefully [Queen’s Parade developers] Bangor Marine will be on site at that part of Marine Gardens, developing at that stage.”
The comments came as Bangor Central councillor Alistair Cathcart quizzed officials about why owners, the Panoramic Wheel Company, are only granted annual permission to be on site, instead of signing a multi-year deal.
Officials replied that the company ‘have no issue resubmitting [planning applications] each year, as they know it’s a temporary year-by-year basis’.