PLANS to build Europe's tallest observation wheel on the Newcastle Quayside are likely to go ahead after winning the backing of planning chiefs.

Newcastle city councillors meeting on Friday will have the final say on whether the 460ft Whey Aye wheel can be built, with civic centre planning officials advising them to back the £100m scheme.

That support comes in spite of more than 100 objections to the proposals from neighbours, councillors, businesses, and community organisations.

There have been 114 objections to the plans from neighbours who say it will be visible from as far away as Tynemouth and Penshaw Monument, would be an “eyesore” on the Quayside. There were nine letters of support.

Nick Kemp, one of Labour’s key figures at the city council, launched a scathing attack on the development last week – labelling it “environmentally destructive” and accusing the developer of “contempt” for local residents.

His fellow Byker councillors, George Allison and Veronica Dunn, have also taken a stand against the wheel.

Two of Newcastle’s leading opposition Lib Dem councillors have also objected. Gareth Kane warned that it is “difficult to see how this proposal could ever be considered as fitting in with the city’s policies on sustainable development”, while Greg Stone raised more concerns about the traffic impact of the plans.

The Ouseburn Trust have lodged an objection, saying that believe that a smaller wheel would be more appropriate, while the St. Peter’s Neighbourhood Association raised fears about litter blowing into the Tyne and harming wildlife.

The Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA), who are based at nearby Anzio House, say they are worried that the wheel could make it more difficult for them to land helicopters on their site.

Newcastle International Airport has also said that the wheel would have to be lit up 24 hours a day to keep light aircraft and helicopters from crashing into it.

The Whey Aye’s impact on the kittiwake colony nesting along the Tyne has also been a long-standing area of concern. The RSPB has urged the developer not to use any pyrotechnics during breeding season and to provide ledges for the beloved birds.

PFP Igloo, the developer seeking to transform nearby land at Malmo and Spillers Quay, has also objected – citing the visual impact of the LED screen, among other concerns.