A popular Ferris wheel attraction has secured a permanent spot in a seaside town.

The application was brought forward by Paul Hedges, from Observation Attractions Company, who first introduced the 34.5-metre high attraction to Felixstowe in August of last year.

This afternoon’s decision was reached unanimously by members of East Suffolk Council’s planning committee who praised the economic benefits it brought to the town.

East Anglian Daily Times: Paul Hedges submitted the applicationPaul Hedges submitted the application (Image: Charlotte Bond)

The planning statement submitted alongside the application said: “There are evidentiary benefits to the wheel, with a distinct increase in visitor numbers, thus creating an uplift for local business and the economy, this will filter through to increased investment in the town for the benefit of all residents.”

Seamus Bennett, the mayor of Felixstowe, had previously given his backing to the plans to make the Ferris wheel a permanent feature.

East Anglian Daily Times: Seamus Bennett, the Felixstowe mayorSeamus Bennett, the Felixstowe mayor (Image: Charlotte Bond)

He said the attraction was "nice and inclusive" as it had a disabled pod, and had been weel-received by nearby businesses.

Mr Bennett said: "I feel that last year it was very attractive and it brought a lot of trade to the town and a lot of interest. It is quite iconic and I think it is a good thing."

The approval means the wheel, which will sit between the town’s promenade and Sea Road, will be able to offer up to 144 people a full view of Felixstowe permanently between February and October.

There have been some objections to the application, with five letters raising concerns over light pollution, environmental impacts, and overall amenity.

East Anglian Daily Times: A pod on the Ferris wheelA pod on the Ferris wheel (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Despite this, the majority of feedback has come in its support, with 14 letters praising its return.

A resident, who wrote in support, said: “I think we should support any development that makes our town more attractive to visitors.

East Anglian Daily Times: A view of Felixstowe beach from the wheelA view of Felixstowe beach from the wheel (Image: Charlotte Bond)

“The wheel seemed to be a great success last year and to my eye is somewhat beautiful too. It is not loud or overly lit. Perfect attraction for a seaside report!”

The application has also seen support from local businesses. One said: “In my opinion, it encouraged many more people from all walks of life and various ages to visit the town.

East Anglian Daily Times: The attraction proved very popularThe attraction proved very popular (Image: Charlotte Bond)

“It provided a very positive social media presence through many photos taken by local amateur photographers encouraging people to visit our seaside town.

“Considering the difficulties of the past few years for most hospitality and leisure businesses, an increase in visitors is very positive.”

Nevertheless, there was a slight reduction to the wheel’s operating times to accommodate concerns over amenity, meaning it will be open Monday to Thursday between 10am and 9pm, and Friday to Sunday between 10am and 10pm.