THE construction of a second seafront observation wheel is set to be completed in time to welcome its first customers this weekend.

Clacton Pier’s new big wheel is now being installed on the forecourt of the seaside attraction after bosses were given the go-ahead by Tendring Council.

The decision was made towards the end of last week after the authority’s planning department concluded the structure would benefit tourism.

They also ruled it would not harm the significance of the Clacton Seafront Conservation Area or any nearby heritage assets.

The 33-metre-high ride, which is called the Clacton Pier Wheel Experience, boasts a total of 24 cars and can accommodate up to 144 people at any one time.

Pier director Billy Ball is delighted the project – a celebration of Clacton’s 150th - has now been given the green light.

He said: “We have been waiting for some time to be able to introduce this new attraction.

“Along with the new Looping Star roller coaster it will provide our visitors with two major new rides this summer which represents a significant investment on our part.

“This will be a community wheel which we will also use as a focus for fundraising activities for charity.”

Clacton Pier’s forthcoming big wheel comes just weeks after Clacton Pavilion bosses unveiled their own observatory wheel.

Located just a stone’s throw away, the wheel was officially launched last month and harnesses the same capacity as its rival’s attraction.

The Clacton Pier Wheel Experience will be open seven days a week from 9am until 10pm and cost £3 per person or £10 for a car of six people or four adults.