Tyne & Wear

Newcastle Quayside 'Whey Aye' Ferris wheel plan approved

Whey Aye wheel artist impression Image copyright World Wheel Company
Image caption The company also agreed to pay the council £200,000 a year to help mitigate the impact of the wheel

Plans to build Europe's largest observation wheel on the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle have been given the go ahead.

Dubbed the "Whey Aye" wheel, the 460ft (140m) structure on Spillers Wharf will be taller than the London Eye.

The development will also include a 39ft (12m) human-shaped steel statue, a food hall, and a virtual golf club.

World Wheel Company said it would attract 698,000 visitors a year and create up to 800 jobs.

Image copyright World Wheel Company
Image caption The height of the "Whey Aye" in comparison to other landmarks

However, there have been concerns the "overwhelming scale" of the wheel would fundamentally alter the skyline and negatively impact on the other arts and culture developments on the Quayside.

Objectors also said visitors to the site could put a heavy strain on local roads and public transport.

North Jesmond councillor Gerry Keating told the planning meeting the benefits significantly outweighed any potential negative impact.

The company also agreed to pay the council £200,000 a year to help mitigate the impact of the wheel on the surrounding area.

Planning permission was approved by eight votes to four.

A decision on whether a giant LED screen will feature on the side of the wheel was postponed pending further discussion.

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