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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Tall tower rises from pier ashes
Image of the Brighton i360 pod at night
The enclosed pod will be nine times bigger than a London Eye capsule
One of the tallest buildings in the UK is to be built on the site of the derelict West Pier in Brighton.

Planning permission was granted for the 20m Brighton i360 observation spire by city councillors on Wednesday.

It has been designed by the architects of the London Eye, and will rise 183m (600ft) above sea level.

It will hold about 125 people in an enclosed "pod", giving them 360 degree views of up to 25 miles out to Bognor in the west and Eastbourne in the east.

During a 20-minute ride, the observation pod - which is more than nine times the size of a London Eye capsule - will rise gradually to a height of 456ft (139m).

Work could start on the attraction in early 2007, and it is expected to be open to the public by summer 2008.

It will be located on the site of the Victorian Grade I listed pier, which closed in 1975 and was reduced to a skeleton by storms and fire in 2003.

'Vertical pier'

Hopes of restoring it faded when the Heritage Lottery Fund withdrew a promised 19m the following year.

Building the spire will involve the partial demolition of the existing pier structure.

The planning application was submitted by London Eye designers David Marks and Julia Barfield, and the West Pier Trust.

The husband and wife team said they were delighted at the decision, and hoped the i360 would become "an elegant 21st Century symbol for Brighton".

In a joint statement, they said: "The i360 will boost Brighton's position as a top tourist destination, create 109 full-time jobs, increase tourist revenue by up to 10m and act as a catalyst for regeneration."

Chairman of the West Pier Trust, Glynn Jones, said the "vertical pier" would be entirely "in the spirit of the pier's history".

The design will include restoration of the original Victorian toll booths and seating, and the creation of a Heritage Centre.


SEE ALSO
Tallest tower plans move forward
19 Jul 06 |  Southern Counties
500ft mast planned for pier site
31 Mar 06 |  Southern Counties

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