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York's big wheel given ‘noise’ all-clear
COUNCIL teams which check on noise and light problems have given the all-clear to plans to keep York’s big wheel operating until autumn.
The owners of the 53-metre observation wheel in the Royal York Hotel grounds were due to dismantle it at the start of this month, but have applied to extend the landmark’s planning permission for eight more months.
The application has brought complaints from people living in nearby Westgate Apartments, who were unhappy about the wheel being placed close to their homes when it first arrived in 2011.
At that time, City of York Council approved the 42-pod structure’s operation until the end of January this year.
Dubai-based Freij Entertainment International, which bought the wheel when its previous owners, Great City Attractions Global, went into administration last year, has said it wants to operate it until the end of September because it had hit its customer targets and the company believed York was “the right place” for the attraction.
The city’s tourism bosses have supported Freij’s plans.
The council’s environmental protection unit has raised no objections to the wheel remaining. Principal officer Anthony Dean said in an e-mail to planners that it had only received “three or four complaints” since it was first installed.
“With regard to complaints about noise, these related to the noise associated with wind blowing through the structure and from a banging which occurred periodically and was resolved after servicing the wheel,” said the email.
Mr Dean said there had been no complaints about the wheel since last July.
Nine Westgate Apartments residents have so far lodged objections to the extension plans, claiming it had affected their privacy and they tolerated the wheel in the belief it would be taken down in early 2013.
A decision is expected to be made within weeks.