PLANS to bring a big wheel back to York city centre have collapsed just days before the scheme was due for final approval by the city council.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) has withdrawn an application to site the wheel on its car park, for what would originally have been a three year period.

The plans had been due before City of York Council's planning committee on Thursday, and looked set to get approval after council officials recommended the scheme be approved.

But yesterday the application was withdrawn, putting the future of the wheel in York in doubt.

The NRM's Head of Operations Jim Lowe said: "I can confirm that we have withdrawn our application to have a wheel at the museum this summer. Unfortunately we have not been able to agree a commercial deal that works for us and the wheel provider.

The wheel could still return to York at some point in the future, he added, but it is unlikely to be in time for this summer's holiday period.

"We are in negotiations with prospective partners and are not yet at a stage where we are ready to progress.

"We are still very keen to bring a giant observation wheel to the National Railway Museum for York, and are currently seeking the right partner for this exciting opportunity."

The big wheel was operated at the NRM site from 2006 to 2008, before it moved to the Royal York hotel where it ran from 2009 until last year.

The museum and the wheel's operator Freij World Attractions teamed up to submit a new application to bring the wheel back to the NRM in January this year.

If the plans had gone ahead it would have taken up 80 of the current 270 spaces in the NRM car park, and would have had 42 gondolas with room for six people in each, and queueing facilities on site.

The scheme would have created six jobs and been open 10am-5.30pm daily, but would have had permission to open from 9am until as late as 10pm for special occasions, in holiday periods, or for corporate bookings.