Council approves return of big wheel for Grosvenor Park in Chester

A big wheel offering spectacular views across Chester is set to make a comeback.

The 35m observation wheel in Grosvenor Park had proven a popular attraction for four months in 2023, so much so that the council’s planning committee has now granted it permission to return for a further two years.

The Ferris wheel will provide 360-degree views and operate all year round. Council officers said it would raise the profile of the area and boost trade in the process.

During the planning meeting on Tuesday, councillor Norman Wright questioned whether any noise would be produced, but was told a condition would be imposed to state no amplified music could be played and it would have to be a ‘quiet facility’.

Councillor Razia Daniels asked what feedback had been received and also queried whether much consultation had been undertaken.

She said, “There aren’t many comments in the report, and why is it two years and why not on an annual basis?”

Officers said a site notice was displayed and a press notice put out, with more than 200 neighbouring homes being notified, with two objections being received. They said two years was considered the right amount of time.

They added that the wheel had been “generally well received” last time and that the council’s tourism website had received 15,000 hits in direct relation to it.

The precise location of the wheel would depend on the season and it would be open to paying customers.

The Gardens Trust – a national charity dedicated to protecting and conserving the heritage of designed landscapes – had objected on the basis of “potentially significant harm” being caused to heritage assets, insufficient detail within the application proposal and “harmful visual impact”.

But a report to the committee said the council’s economic growth team felt public benefits would outweigh harm.

It said, “It is argued that it is now increasingly apparent that Chester will be more dependent in future on its appeal to visitors and residents as a place to spend leisure time than it has previously.

“This is because the way within which the city centre is used is changing due to the way that people now live their lives. They are less likely to shop on high streets and less likely to be employed in jobs that require travel to the city centre daily.”

The application was passed unanimously.

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