THE owners of a historic seaside attraction are urging council officials to allow them to start work on the installation of an observation wheel.

Clacton Pier bosses first announced they had approached Tendring Council for permission to put in place a 30ft big wheel towards the end of last year.

The reveal came around the same time owners of the nearby Pavilion said they had also been working to install a giant wheel.

Both of the proposed features have been unveiled as a way of marking Clacton’s 150th anniversary, which will be marked later this year.

The Pavilion’s huge wheel is scheduled to open on April 12, but Clacton Pier bosses are still waiting to be given the go-ahead from Tendring Council.

Brentwood Live:

Managing director Billy Ball, claims the pier’s project is vital to its ongoing sustainability and will result in further investment in the 6.5-acre site.

He said he has put forward a strong case to support the application for the wheel which is due to be decided by the authority.

He said: “The pier has continuously evolved and developed throughout the decades as an amusement and entertainment venue.

“We feel a huge responsibility towards the pier and the community it serves, and the current application seeks to continue this trend for what is the largest pier in Europe.

“Alongside our charitable works and events, fundraising efforts, and the hundreds of free days out we give awa, it will provide further opportunity for this kind of activity.

“The income derived will contribute towards recovery from the economic damage caused by Covid-19 in what is a critical year for seaside resorts and Clacton Pier.”

Mr Ball took over the pier in 2009 alongside his brother Elliot and they soon realised it would be necessary to plough significant money into the site to attract the visitors and provide income.

He now employs roughly 200 people every summer and has a full-time team of more than 75 people said observation wheels appeal to all age groups.

He believes the installation of a big wheel will help to protect the future viability of the 150-year-old heritage asset.

He has also made it clear he is not against the Pavilion’s decision to also install an observation wheel just metres away.

Brentwood Live:

Mr Ball believes the competition is healthy and only stimulates the drive and ambition of operators to achieve even higher standards, which is good for the town.

“All and any investment in Clacton’s tourism sector is most welcome and has to be encouraged and embraced, even if it means two wheels,” he added.

“It will require that continued investment to keep our vital attractions alive.”

A Tendring District Council spokesman added: “Though not appropriate to comment about individual planning applications, as part of Tendring’s Back to Business agenda we look to support all of our local firms to be the best they can be; so, wherever we can, we will support innovative and exciting projects which aim to boost our economy.

“The leisure and tourism sector is no exception to this, and we are delighted to see Clacton Pier investing heavily into their attractions and tourism offerings for the sunshine coast”