Building Design Partnership admits that with no suitable site or sponsor, its Prague big wheel is a low priority.
Ambitious plans for a rival to the London Eye in a European capital have been put on hold.

Roy Adams, chief executive of Building Design Partnership Special Structures Group, which has been in talks with the city authorities in Prague, said such schemes were difficult to get off the ground because of funding.

He said: “Wheels and one-off leisure projects require sites and sponsors to move forward. Until we find an appropriate site and/or a sponsor, it is a low priority for us.”

David Marks, of London Eye architect Marks Barfield, said: “Glad to hear it. We will remain vigilant.”

The wheel had been intended to go on the Exhibition Centre site near Prague’s old town. Bovis Lend Lease, which was commissioned to carry out a feasibility study of the project, has identified problems with this site.

The intended sponsor for the wheel was the City of Prague.

BDP Special Structures has admitted that talks with the authority have stalled.

We have never had any concern about copyright related to the wheel proposal

Roy Adams, BDP

A BDP spokesperson said: “They have not said yes to the project, but nor have they said no.”

There were allegations that the Prague wheel breached copyright after Building reported BDP’s plans in April. Adams denied that the concept hit legal problems over copyright.

“We have never had any concern about copyright related to the wheel proposal and have never sought any legal or other advice related to that issue,” he said.

At the time, Marks accused the rival consortium of a “blatant act of plagiarism”.

The rival wheel, should it get the go-ahead in future, would be unlike the London Eye in that it would be built upright in segments rather than assembled horizontally and erected afterwards.

At 150 m, it is also designed to be 15 m higher than the London Eye, and carry 40 capsules as opposed to the Eye’s 32.