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Brighton welcomes new landmarks

In May 2011, the Badger reported on the proposed ‘Brighton O’, a ferris wheel designed to give panoramic views of Brighton and the surrounding areas to around 250,000 tourists and residents per year.

The site for the wheel was Madeira Drive seafront promenade, opposite the Sea Life Centre.

Paramount Attractions, the company behind the wheel, had been seeking planning permission since September 2009.

In May 2011, the director of Paramount Attractions has previously owned three leisure companies, two of which went into liquidation.

The third, Coasta Ltd., opened Eastbourne attraction Treasue Island, which failed in March this year, owing Eastbourne Borough Coucil over £60,000.

In August this year, it was referred to by Madeira Drive resident, Geoffrey Cush, as “like something out of War of the Worlds” after a computer generated image was released to the public.

The ‘O’ is also opposed by the developers of the i360, a 150-foot observation tower near to the remains of the Victorian West Pier.

The i360, brought to the city by the team behind the London Eye, will offer panoramic views of the South Downs National Park, coast- line and surrounding areas.

Although planners had hoped the tower would be in operation before the start of the Olympic Games next year, there still remains a deficit of £10 million pounds, required before construction can begin on the 21-month project.

Unlike the ‘O’, planning for the i360 is backed by the West Pier Trust, which hopes that eventually a new pier may be built in place of the remains of the original, destroyed in a fire in 2003.

Glynn Jones, chairman of the West Pier Trust said: “Our challenge was how to uphold the heritage of the pier and promote regeneration of the city seafront.

“The answer is the i360, a brilliant solution… it resonates perfectly with the city’s landscape, cultural roots and aspirations for the future.”

Research suggests that 750,000 people will visit the landmark every year, and that it will generate 160 new full-time jobs, significantly boosting the local economy.

The i360 has been relatively well received. It will be both functional and attractive, according to its website, which states that the structure will also house “a shop and hospitality suite and a cafe/restaurant catering for up to 400 people” at the foot of its “a slender, elegant design.”

Despite many setbacks, including opposition from local residents and theWestPierTrust,“the official launch [of the ‘O’] will take place around the end of September,” according to a press release by Murray Media.

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