London Eye Becomes Permanent

Ross

ByRoss

Wednesday, 8 May 2024   London Merlin - London Eye    

One of the UK’s most iconic visitor attractions – the lastminute.com London Eye – has had its long-term future secured, after Lambeth Council confirmed that it could remain on London’s South Bank.

At a meeting of the Council’s Planning Applications Committee on Tuesday 7th May, Lambeth councillors voted unanimously to support a recommendation from officers to discharge a condition attached to the 2003 permission that required the local planning authority to decide whether the attraction could be retained beyond 2028.

This followed the submission of a report by Merlin Entertainments – the UK-based owner and operator of the attraction – which assessed the continued acceptability of the Eye in this location.

The Council agreed with this report, and in doing so, confirmed that the Eye could remain in place – with current arrangements continuing beyond 2028. This includes a requirement for 1% of the attraction’s annual turnover to be paid towards the maintenance and management of the public area surrounding the site. These monies are invested in partnership with South Bank Employers’ Group and South Bank Business Improvement District.

“A landmark decision for a landmark attraction. The London Eye is both the centrepiece of Merlin’s central London offering and visitors’ itineraries, drawing millions to the South Bank each year to enjoy unrivalled views of the capital. It is impossible to imagine the London skyline without the iconic structure of the London Eye, and with its long-term future secure, we will continue to invest and expand Merlin’s presence in this great city, which is one of our key gateway clusters. We will work closely with key partners locally, including the re-elected Mayor Sadiq Khan, to further boost London’s attractiveness to both international and domestic visitors, offering them experiences that bring joy and everlasting memories.

SCOTT O’NEIL, MERLIN’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Merlin’s comprehensive approach to the London Eye, from a development, heritage, and environmental perspective, has been co-ordinated by leading planning consultants Lichfields. This involvement stretches back to 1999. In 2003, the consultancy was successful in helping obtain planning permission and listed building consent for the Eye’s original retention. Lichfields has continued to work closely with Merlin to help secure the Eye’s permanent future.

Following the vote by the Planning Applications Committee, Lambeth Council will shortly issue a Decision Notice confirming this outcome.

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