Predicted capacity for Brighton viewing tower i360 doubles

The i360

The i360

First published in News by , local government reporter

New papers show the predicted capacity on the i360 viewing tower has doubled.

In recent days concerns have been raised that the financial projections for the project have been based on exaggerated figures compared to those that were included in the original planning application in 2006.

When the original plans were submitted and approved by Brighton and Hove City Council developers predicted the tower would accommodate 100 people at a time and would attract close to 550,000 new visitors every year.

But the latest addendum for tonight’s meeting on getting a £36 million government loan to fund the tower show different figures.

It is now predicted the attraction will take 200 people at a time and will attract closer to 750,000 visitors a year.

Opponents of the controversial project used the information and took to Twitter to question the legitimacy of the plans, claiming the council was using different information to have the loan approved.

Ian Coomber, a planning consultant and former council planner, said: “The traffic models, transport statement, environmental impact assessment and vehicle movements were all based on 100-person capacity.”

“There are quite a few people with more than a raised eyebrow.”

The designs for the 475m tower, proposed for the old West Pier entrance, have not changed.

And David Marks, of Marks Barfield architects, who are in charge of the project, said councillors have been shown the predicted 200 people capacity before.

“The pod size has not changed,” he told The Argus.

He added: “It can actually accommodate more, as it is 10 times the size of a London Eye pod with a capacity of 25-30.

“It means that even with 200 people everyone can have a view standing at the window side by side. In reality, people will move around and the capacity will vary according to time of day and season.”

He said the city’s tourism sector continues to grow.

He added: “The number of people living in the catchment area and the number actually visiting Brighton has also significantly increased since 2006, the market has got bigger, and this is reflected in the independent projections of visitor numbers.

“This report was produced by one of the UK leading experts with an excellent track record. Incidentally, the Royal Pavilion numbers have gone up 22 per cent in the last 5 years. The visitor attraction sector has been growing during the recession.”

Council leader Jason Kitcat, whose party has announced its intention to vote for the project tonight, said the new business projection reflected the changes in the market and had no impact on the original planning decision.

“It’s clutching at straws to take a 2006 planning report and suggest it’s material in any way”

He added: “It would be more worrying if everything was exactly the same from seven or eight years ago.”

Comments (15)

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5:14am Thu 6 Mar 14

mark by the sea says...

The number of people living on the catchment area? How many times will people go on it? For instance I have been on the London eye once, the brighton wheel once..
I remember the government say they predicted 100.000 Polish to arrive!
Predictions are just hopes and prayers, especially with a view!
Anyone remember the millennium Dome? Figures and business plans are so often flawed .
Good luck to who ever put money into this! Of yes it's us the tax payer!
The number of people living on the catchment area? How many times will people go on it? For instance I have been on the London eye once, the brighton wheel once.. I remember the government say they predicted 100.000 Polish to arrive! Predictions are just hopes and prayers, especially with a view! Anyone remember the millennium Dome? Figures and business plans are so often flawed . Good luck to who ever put money into this! Of yes it's us the tax payer! mark by the sea
  • Score: 19

7:01am Thu 6 Mar 14

Kate234 says...

Sounds like a good idea. At 200 it will be able to hold larger events and I can imagine loads of wedding parties and conference organisers will want to take people up this. This project is about the only good thing the council have done.
Sounds like a good idea. At 200 it will be able to hold larger events and I can imagine loads of wedding parties and conference organisers will want to take people up this. This project is about the only good thing the council have done. Kate234
  • Score: -19

8:23am Thu 6 Mar 14

Roundbill says...

Mister Kitcat, I know you read these comments when they concern your vanity products. Does it bother you that an increasing number of city residents suspect that you're using this enormous tower to compensate for a certain lacking?
Mister Kitcat, I know you read these comments when they concern your vanity products. Does it bother you that an increasing number of city residents suspect that you're using this enormous tower to compensate for a certain lacking? Roundbill
  • Score: 13

8:40am Thu 6 Mar 14

KempyLocals says...

It does not seem that Jason actually knows how many cars (driven slowly of course) will be in and out of his ward - green leader dumbfounded on traffic - just interested in numbers with a £ sign in front of them....
It does not seem that Jason actually knows how many cars (driven slowly of course) will be in and out of his ward - green leader dumbfounded on traffic - just interested in numbers with a £ sign in front of them.... KempyLocals
  • Score: 4

8:44am Thu 6 Mar 14

KempyLocals says...

At least traffic congestion is a traffic calming measure I guess - just hope gridlock does not badly affect failing Preston Street - seemingly everyone getting off the i360 will immediately head to a steakhouse...or get straight back in the car and leave - they will have no money left for the Pavillion, or Sealife Centre or pier....
At least traffic congestion is a traffic calming measure I guess - just hope gridlock does not badly affect failing Preston Street - seemingly everyone getting off the i360 will immediately head to a steakhouse...or get straight back in the car and leave - they will have no money left for the Pavillion, or Sealife Centre or pier.... KempyLocals
  • Score: 8

8:47am Thu 6 Mar 14

KempyLocals says...

Were the Council aware of the 200 person capacity 'before' granting planning permission I wonder???
Were the Council aware of the 200 person capacity 'before' granting planning permission I wonder??? KempyLocals
  • Score: 2

8:52am Thu 6 Mar 14

s_james says...

Kate234 wrote:
Sounds like a good idea. At 200 it will be able to hold larger events and I can imagine loads of wedding parties and conference organisers will want to take people up this. This project is about the only good thing the council have done.
I think its one of those things that, when its built, people will wonder why they ever complained about it. It looks an eminently sensible idea from the Tories and Greens on the Council to earn some money whilst improve the seafront. Main concerns seem to be if it loses money but the estimated visitor numbers would have be so wrong for that happen it doesn’t seem likely at all. It just needs to attract slightly more than the Pavilion tours, and would seem to appeal to a much broader range of people.
[quote][p][bold]Kate234[/bold] wrote: Sounds like a good idea. At 200 it will be able to hold larger events and I can imagine loads of wedding parties and conference organisers will want to take people up this. This project is about the only good thing the council have done.[/p][/quote]I think its one of those things that, when its built, people will wonder why they ever complained about it. It looks an eminently sensible idea from the Tories and Greens on the Council to earn some money whilst improve the seafront. Main concerns seem to be if it loses money but the estimated visitor numbers would have be so wrong for that happen it doesn’t seem likely at all. It just needs to attract slightly more than the Pavilion tours, and would seem to appeal to a much broader range of people. s_james
  • Score: -10

8:53am Thu 6 Mar 14

Morpheus says...

These people live in a fantasy world.
These people live in a fantasy world. Morpheus
  • Score: 8

8:54am Thu 6 Mar 14

Can this be says...

Everything about this project has been stretched except probably its true cost. Now it has become 475 METRES tall! Probably be able to see France now as an added attraction?
Everything about this project has been stretched except probably its true cost. Now it has become 475 METRES tall! Probably be able to see France now as an added attraction? Can this be
  • Score: 8

9:52am Thu 6 Mar 14

Pebbles says...

Where do the crowds of hundreds of people wait? The design shows a lack of s sheltered waiting area, and this is right on the seafront where the wind and rain is at its most fierce.. and thats during the summer!
Where do the crowds of hundreds of people wait? The design shows a lack of s sheltered waiting area, and this is right on the seafront where the wind and rain is at its most fierce.. and thats during the summer! Pebbles
  • Score: 7

10:16am Thu 6 Mar 14

thevoiceoftruth says...

Kate234 wrote:
Sounds like a good idea. At 200 it will be able to hold larger events and I can imagine loads of wedding parties and conference organisers will want to take people up this. This project is about the only good thing the council have done.
The space hasn't got any bigger. People will be packed in like sardines with standing room only - hardly what you would want for a wedding or conference. The London Eye has a maximum of 25 people per pod, so I don't know why Mark Barfield is claiming you can fit 30 in. 10 x 25 = 250 so I am now dubious about whether the i360 is ten times the size of a London Eye pod, because surely they would up the numbers to 250 if that was the case.

Also dispute the 'catchment area.' Do they really think Brighton and Sussex residents will be going on this attraction numerous times? Everything about this project is seriously flawed but the council is happy to carry on regardless - gambling with our money. I wish there was a way we could stop them. The naivety of the people who support this is staggering.
[quote][p][bold]Kate234[/bold] wrote: Sounds like a good idea. At 200 it will be able to hold larger events and I can imagine loads of wedding parties and conference organisers will want to take people up this. This project is about the only good thing the council have done.[/p][/quote]The space hasn't got any bigger. People will be packed in like sardines with standing room only - hardly what you would want for a wedding or conference. The London Eye has a maximum of 25 people per pod, so I don't know why Mark Barfield is claiming you can fit 30 in. 10 x 25 = 250 so I am now dubious about whether the i360 is ten times the size of a London Eye pod, because surely they would up the numbers to 250 if that was the case. Also dispute the 'catchment area.' Do they really think Brighton and Sussex residents will be going on this attraction numerous times? Everything about this project is seriously flawed but the council is happy to carry on regardless - gambling with our money. I wish there was a way we could stop them. The naivety of the people who support this is staggering. thevoiceoftruth
  • Score: 11

10:50am Thu 6 Mar 14

rolivan says...

Marks Barfield had a third share in the London Eye and sold it.
One would think they would have enough real money to put more than the "£6m" they are putting in which strangely enough is the amount by which Costs have risen.If they are so confident why could they not fund it?
Marks Barfield had a third share in the London Eye and sold it. One would think they would have enough real money to put more than the "£6m" they are putting in which strangely enough is the amount by which Costs have risen.If they are so confident why could they not fund it? rolivan
  • Score: 7

10:55am Thu 6 Mar 14

Stoney33 says...

I do sort of like the idea, but not on the seafront

most people that wanted to see that area from high up have probably done so on the wheel, you cant see any major Brighton landmarks from the seafront, just the tops of hotels

It should be more central, so you can overlook the steine and parks, or maybe the marina, to help boost the economy down there
I do sort of like the idea, but not on the seafront most people that wanted to see that area from high up have probably done so on the wheel, you cant see any major Brighton landmarks from the seafront, just the tops of hotels It should be more central, so you can overlook the steine and parks, or maybe the marina, to help boost the economy down there Stoney33
  • Score: 1

1:44pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Hovite says...

Stoney33 wrote:
I do sort of like the idea, but not on the seafront

most people that wanted to see that area from high up have probably done so on the wheel, you cant see any major Brighton landmarks from the seafront, just the tops of hotels

It should be more central, so you can overlook the steine and parks, or maybe the marina, to help boost the economy down there
I have always thought that this project would be more suited to being built out to sea at the end of a new pier so you could look back on the shoreline.
[quote][p][bold]Stoney33[/bold] wrote: I do sort of like the idea, but not on the seafront most people that wanted to see that area from high up have probably done so on the wheel, you cant see any major Brighton landmarks from the seafront, just the tops of hotels It should be more central, so you can overlook the steine and parks, or maybe the marina, to help boost the economy down there[/p][/quote]I have always thought that this project would be more suited to being built out to sea at the end of a new pier so you could look back on the shoreline. Hovite
  • Score: 3

4:56pm Thu 6 Mar 14

davidbrianjones says...

Roundbill wrote:
Mister Kitcat, I know you read these comments when they concern your vanity products. Does it bother you that an increasing number of city residents suspect that you're using this enormous tower to compensate for a certain lacking?
OK - it does look like an enormous erect willy -- but what's wrong with a willy? In fact, I used to have one myself.

Whether it is a vanity project or not - it is designed by the people who designed Britain's number one (yes!!!) paid-for attraction.

I can certainly think of less suitable people to develop an attraction for Brighton.

I certainly look forward to riding the big willy !!!)

Incidentally, the Eiffel Tower (often described a a big willy takes enormous amounts of money throught the year, but if we're honest, from the air, Paris is nothing special - just an enormous city. It's just being up there that's the thrill. (And I personally absolutely adore looking at the sea and the coast from the Brighton Wheel for example)

Good look to Mr Kit Kat and the architects and everyone involved. I'm convinced you are onto a winner!
[quote][p][bold]Roundbill[/bold] wrote: Mister Kitcat, I know you read these comments when they concern your vanity products. Does it bother you that an increasing number of city residents suspect that you're using this enormous tower to compensate for a certain lacking?[/p][/quote]OK - it does look like an enormous erect willy -- but what's wrong with a willy? In fact, I used to have one myself. Whether it is a vanity project or not - it is designed by the people who designed Britain's number one (yes!!!) paid-for attraction. I can certainly think of less suitable people to develop an attraction for Brighton. I certainly look forward to riding the big willy !!!) Incidentally, the Eiffel Tower (often described a a big willy takes enormous amounts of money throught the year, but if we're honest, from the air, Paris is nothing special - just an enormous city. It's just being up there that's the thrill. (And I personally absolutely adore looking at the sea and the coast from the Brighton Wheel for example) Good look to Mr Kit Kat and the architects and everyone involved. I'm convinced you are onto a winner! davidbrianjones
  • Score: -2

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