Steyne Gardens '˜is not the right location' for big wheel, hotels say
Hotel managers in Worthing have said they were '˜shocked' and '˜disappointed' at not being consulted on bringing a big wheel to Worthing.
The giant 144-capacity observation wheel, which will open to the public on Saturday, is being installed at Steyne Gardens.
But two neighbouring hotels have said this is not the right location for the attraction.
Nick Clinch, managing director at the Chatsworth Hotel in Steyne Gardens, said: “We were absolutely shocked that we were not consulted at all about it going up.
“It’s a huge, dominating presence and I’m not sure if it’s going to have a positive effect on the hotels here.”
Mr Clinch said the council chose the site after considering various options.
“However if they haven’t consulted anyone who lives or operates a business here, I find it difficult to understand how they will know the impact it will have,” he said.
“I’m not saying it will be a bad thing, but there has been no due process.
“It’s going to absolute dominate the skyline and tower over both the hotels and other buildings. It’s quite an oppressive sight, in such a narrow area.
“I’m concerned about noise and parking, which is limited as it is around Steyne Gardens.”
Richard Margaroli, one of the partners at The Ardington Hotel in Steyne Gardens, said: “I welcome the initiative to bring things to the town centre which will bring visitors to the town and enhance the town centre for residents.
“However Steyne Gardens is not the right place for this attraction because of the impact on car parking, congestion, public conveniences.
“We as a hotel are extremely disappointed to have received no consultation regarding this attraction whatsoever.
“My concerns are the potential noise, the disruption to guests overlooking Steyne Gardens and the potential loss of privacy in the bedrooms.”
Worthing Borough Council has said that the attraction will bring many tourists into the town and generate revenue for local businesses, as well as rental income for the council.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, executive member for regeneration at the council, said: “The temporary attraction known as the Worthing Wheel will come to town from this weekend and operate for three weeks, which includes the Easter holidays.
“When the council were approached, a number of locations, including the seafront and Beach House Grounds, were considered.
“But the excellent links, accessibility and history of holding public events made Steyne Gardens the preferred location.
“No planning permission or licensing approval was required as the wheel will be in place for less than 28 days.
“Once agreement was reached, letters were sent to local residents and businesses.
“We received a small number of letters of complaint; in contrast, thousands of people, including many businesses, are supportive.
“In terms of parking, there is a large multistorey car park three minutes walk away.
“There are three public toilet blocks within five minutes walk of the attraction and the wheel does not create any noise while in operation.
“While we acknowledge there could be some impact on those living in the direct vicinity, we are confident this will be a popular addition and boost business across the town.”
Standing at 35 metres high, the 24-pod wheel will operate between 10am and 10pm, seven days a week.
Journeys will take approximately ten minutes and a standard ticket will cost £5 with concessions for children and OAPs.