Eastbourne pier owner blasts council planners

Mr Gulzar on Eastbourne Pier (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160408-083055008
Mr Gulzar on Eastbourne Pier (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160408-083055008

The owner of Eastbourne Pier has launched a blistering attack on Eastbourne Borough Council - despite being given permission from planners last night (Tuesday) to paint the remaining two domes gold.

Sheikh Abid Gulzar - currently in hospital recovering from an operation - says he is very disheartened by the decision.

He wanted to paint the grey roof to the entrance of the pier white but this was refused.

Councillors on the planning committee said they felt it would be out of keeping with the character of the town and would make the pier look ‘plastic’.

Another concern was the upkeep and maintaining a clean appearance of such a roof.

Historic England opposed the move saying it would “cause harm to the attractive and historic appearance of the pavilions and kiosks on the pier, and the public’s appreciation and understanding of the details and materials of their construction”.

Mr Gulzar is furious.

He said, “The decision goes against public opinion. Hundreds of people have written congratulating me on the hard work and fully supported the application.

“The general public has commended my hard work and appreciate me taking the responsibility of the most important asset in town.

“I cannot believe these councillors who opposed the idea did not come onto the pier to gauge public opinion.

“At the meeting there were critical mentions of the previously approved application of gold painted domes.

“This was not required as the applications are not connected. This is now all very personal against me and I am really angry.

“The professional advice of the planning department recommended approval whilst giving the most importance to the public benefit which outweighs any minor harms.

“There had been questions asked regarding the quality of paint, work and maintenance on the pier.

“I ask where all these people were when this pier was being allowed to sink in the sea.

“None of these people took the initiative or responsibility for this most important heritage asset.

“Quite ironic how there is so much keenness to save the heritage without actually taking any responsibility or doing something for it.

“Every lamp post on the seafront is white and gold and blue which somehow does not cause any harm.

“We have used the most expensive paint specially meant for marine environment.

“The pier is looking most magnificent and royal now.

“Whilst I am heavily investing in the pier, decisions like this disheartens me.

“I would expect everyone to work together to achieve what is best for this asset and Eastbourne as a town.”

The Herald is awaiting a comment from Eastbourne council.