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London Eye is parmenat
shutterstock imagehe iconic observation wheel is now an official eternal fixture after Lambeth Council's decision this week.

The London Eye is now officially a permanent attraction

After 20 years, the iconic Southbank observation wheel is here for good

Sabah Osman
Written by
Sabah Osman

You’d have been forgiven for assuming the London Eye was always supposed to be a permanent fixture of the capital’s skyline. The observation wheel has dominated the Southbank for over two decades, becoming as familiar to London’s scenery as St Paul’s, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. 

But incredibly, until very recently the Eye was actually still operating under a temporary license, which required extensions every few years. Well, that’s the case no more. This week Lambeth Council finally granted permanent planning permission to the gigantic big wheel. Rejoice! 

The move isn’t exactly surprising. The Eye isn’t so much a fleeting pop-up attraction as an inescapable part of 21st-century London life. Providing tourists with an Everest-like uphill perspective for their selfies, the metal monster has woven itself into the fabric of the city. 

Crucially, making the Eye’s status permanent allows its owners to finally push ahead with much-needed renovation plans, ensuring the humble big wheel can keep serving great glamour pout on Instagram for years to come.

Making the Eye permanent is also a nod to the attraction’s role as a hugely popular draw supporting businesses across the entire buzzy Southbank. The council approval includes requirements that one per cent of the Eye’s annual turnover gets funnelled back into up-keeping the public spaces surrounding it.

So, raise a flute of the finest fizz to London’s loftiest observational big wheel becoming an eternal fixture! After over 20 years as a picture-postcard presence on the skyline, we can contribute to drinking in those world-class panoramic views forever (at least until the sea levels make it a municipal gondola ride).

Did you see that you can now hire out disused tube stations for parties and private events?

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