THIS city ain’t big enough for the both of us.

That is the message coming from the i360 camp after Brighton Wheel bosses unexpectedly applied for the attraction to stay in place for another five years.

The wheel was set to be dismantled in May 2016 – in time for the opening of the £46.2 million i360 viewing platform.

However wheel bosses now want to stay on the seafront until 2021. They claim both attractions can operate side-by-side with the wheel on standby for visitors in case of further delays with the i360.

But i360 bosses have called on their smaller rival to honour an existing agreement to close when they open.

Brighton Wheel bosses want the 50 metre tourist attraction to stay on the seafront until 2021.

Paramount Entertainments has applied to extend permission for the seafront ferris wheel for another five years after its temporary permission ends in April next year.

It has said the wheel’s continued presence will bring an extra £12.6 million to the city and could continue in tandem with the new i360 which is due to open next summer.

But i360 bosses are “surprised” by the plans claiming their funding deal with Brighton and Hove City Council was based on the city not having a rival viewing attraction.

Wheel chiefs said concerns at its initial planning permission stage around noise, traffic and queues have not been realised partly because visitor numbers have been lower than predicted.

It was estimated it would attract 250,000 visitors a year and, while it attracted 260,000 in year one, numbers fell to 186,000 in its second year.

Paramount’s application said a further five years of the Brighton Wheel will allow for “any delays in the introduction of the i360”.

The company claim that ferris wheels and viewing platforms co-exist at major tourist locations like Blackpool and Las Vegas.

Wheel bosses propose investing a further £150,000 in improvements as well as making the site a VisitBrighton visitor information point with improved educational resources for schools and groups to learn about ferris wheels’ history.

Soozie Campbell, of Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance, said: “There was an agreement with the i360 and I can’t see how they can go back on that. A deal is a deal.

“I am surprised they have gone for it because it never seems that busy but maybe the thinking is that they can ride on the coattails of the i360 which is designed to bring more business for everyone.

“They are two similar experiences so if you go for one you would go for the one that is bigger and newer.”

Eleanor Harris, chief executive of Brighton i360, said the Wheel was granted permission to be “a temporary attraction as a stop gap” at a time when i360 funding was stalled.

She said: “The wheel’s lease has a condition that it must close when the i360 opens and so we are surprised they have applied to stay.

"We selected Brighton to build the i360 due to a combination of the existing tourist economy, wonderful views and the fact that there are no other observation competitors. “Our funding agreement with the council has always assumed that there is no rival observation attraction in Brighton.”

Terry Kinsella of the Van Alen building, Marine Parade, said opinion was divided over the wheel.

He said: “None of the awful predictions of people urinating in doorways, or of not being able to see out of our windows because the light would be so bright, have come to pass.”

Brighton and Hove City Council hope to making a decision on the wheel plans in April.