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HomeAttractionsLondon's Iconic London Eye Observation Wheel Gets Permanent Status

London’s Iconic London Eye Observation Wheel Gets Permanent Status

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Did you know that the London Eye was technically a temporary attraction, and its status has had to be continually re-approved over the years? Now, a final decision as been made. London’s skyline will continue to be graced by the majestic London Eye for years to come, as Lambeth Council has granted approval for the world-famous attraction to become a permanent fixture in the capital.

Initially constructed as a temporary installation to mark the turn of the millennium, the observation wheel has now received the green light to remain a beloved part of London’s iconic landscape indefinitely.

The decision comes after the council heard compelling evidence of the London Eye’s positive economic impact on the city and its role in driving tourism and regeneration efforts along the South Bank.

While concerns were raised by the Environment Agency regarding potential challenges for future Thames flood defense work due to the Eye’s location, site owners Merlin Entertainments assured that the attraction does not contribute to flooding risks and would not impede necessary flood prevention measures.

Despite these considerations, the council’s planning officials ultimately recommended approval, citing the London Eye’s “significant beneficial socioeconomic impact in Lambeth, London, and nationally.” According to council documents, the attraction generates £143 million in revenue for the wider London economy annually.

The report further highlighted the Eye’s catalytic role in revitalizing the South Bank area, noting that “local businesses rely on the tourism that the Eye generates.”

Since its grand opening by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair on December 31, 1999, the structure, initially dubbed the Millennium Wheel, has captivated nearly four million visitors each year, with a staggering three-quarters of those being international tourists.

As the London Eye transitions from a temporary marvel to a permanent icon, its legacy as a symbol of the city’s resilience, innovation, and allure is solidified, ensuring that generations to come will continue to marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views it offers over the historic capital.

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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