Flood fears voiced over site for seafront Ferris wheel

An artist's impression of the planned new Ferris wheel set to be built in Felixstowe

An artist's impression of the planned new Ferris wheel set to be built in Felixstowe - Credit: C Ward/A & P Designs Ltd

Community leaders have welcomed proposals for a Ferris wheel attraction on Felixstowe seafront - but voiced concerns over potential flooding of the site.

Original plans for the 34.5-metre high observation wheel were withdrawn after dozens of objections from residents.

But now a new site has been found for the attraction - further along Sea Road opposite Manning's Amusements Park and The Forum kiosks and arcade.

Felixstowe Town Council has welcomed the new plans but says it could only recommend approval if concerns over possible flooding of the site by the sea are overcome.

The council is worried that the proposed removal of the wave wall at the rear of the promenade would leave the site and adjoining grass areas vulnerable to shingle and saltwater incursion when the Ferris wheel is in position and operating between mid-February and mid-October.

It said: "High tides and storms can occur at any time and are certainly not limited to the depth of winter.

"Therefore, it will be essential that a suitable structure of similar height is in place at all times along the wheel frontage, other than at any access point to the wheel. In that area, wave boards should be available for insertion on receipt of storm or flood warnings."

Most Read

The council is also concerned that raised grass areas and retaining walls would need to be removed to site the wheel and its supports and these would need to be reinstated during the winter period when the wheel is removed.

East Suffolk Council planners are still considering the application from A & P Designs Ltd, on behalf of Paul Hedges, director of Observation Attractions Company Ltd, and has not indicated yet when a decision will be made.

The district council has received a small number of letters - both for and against, including those worried about anti-social behaviour and loss of public land used for general recreation.

But Felixstowe resident Abigail Wilkinson wrote: "It would be a much-needed and unusual asset adding to the entertainment value of the seafront area, attracting lots of visitors that would otherwise go elsewhere for their usual seafront amusement ventures.

"Please allow it, even if just for one season, to determine if there even is a negative impact at all. I expect it will only be a positive experience for the whole town."

The wheel would have 24 individual gondolas that each carry six people, for a maximum capacity of 144, and operate throughout the day.

A & P Designs Ltd said the latest proposals had been submitted to "increase facilities for recreation and leisure in this beautiful seafront location with other attractions" and provide a "new and exciting attraction to the seafront".