OPPONENTS of the proposed big wheel in the heart of Stratford fear the town could become a laughing stock if the plans get the go-ahead.
De Koning Leisure Group Ltd has applied to Stratford District Council for permission to site a 35-metre wheel on the car park of the Recreation Ground for a six month period.
The location was chosen as it would be close to the river and theatre but the proposals have already divided opinion with some arguing a wheel would be out of keeping with Shakespeare’s Stratford, while others believe it would help attract more visitors to the town.
Although the RSC has its own observational tower across the river, theatre bosses have not objected to the plans, but have suggested the long term impact on the landscape should not be affected by the structure and traffic and pedestrian congestion should be carefully managed.
But Stop the Wheel campaigner, Tony Godel has called the plans a ‘Mickey Mouse affair’ and is hoping the district council will throw them out when they consider the application later this month.
He told The Observer: “I don’t think the council realised how much opposition there would be to the wheel and I hope they don’t approve the plans given how many people are against them.
“The Stop the Wheel campaigners will storm the planning meeting when the application is discussed but we hope the plans will be thrown out before it even gets there.
“It’s not an ‘observation wheel’ it is a ferris wheel at a fiver a head for a ten minute ride.
“There will intrusion on people – like myself – who live nearby, it will cause traffic problems and Stratford as a town will be a laughing stock. Look what happened to Dudley, the Daily Mail branded their wheel the ugliest attraction in Britain.
“The district council say it will be trialed for six months but that doesn’t mean it will go at the end of the trial period. If the worst happens we will continue to campaign against the wheel.”
The plans have already been given the thumbs down by Stratford Town Council.