The fishing jetty at the end of Eastbourne Pier closed at the weekend much to the disappointment of anglers.
The area had been used for a number of years by enthusiasts but was closed under plans by the pier’s new owner Abid Gulzar.
Mr Gulzar announced he would be closing the jetty – and not renewing the lease on the popular fishing tackle shop – when he bought the seafront landmark late last year due to health and safety fears.
One fisherman Simon Seath said the closure of the jetty was devastating.
“Last Sunday was a sad day on the pier as a tradition that reaches back generations was stopped by the new owner of the pier,” said Mr Seath, of Kings Drive, who was one almost 1,000 people who signed a petition calling for the jetty to remain open.
“I have been fishing on the end of the pier and down the sides in the good old days for 52 years and have seen many changes but this is the most devastating.
“I have made many friends there and I know that many others can say the same and over the years I have had some very good catches of fish.
“I know Mr Gulzar has his heart in the right place as far as Eastbourne is concerned but I think he doesn’t understand the history and traditions of our town.
“I fail to understand why the fishing has been stopped. He has put an enterprising young man out of business, cut down the pier’s earnings and stopped something that attracted people from all over the country to come for a few days fishing or even just to go down to the end of the pier to watch the anglers.
“There are older members of the angling community who can’t easily fish from the beach and of course it was a great place for young children to start on this healthy outdoor hobby; where will these people go now?”
At the time he announced the closure Mr Gulzar said the end of the pier “raised serious health and safety issues which must be addressed”.
“Some of the area at that end of the pier is very dangerous,” he said. “It has been neglected in the past, and as the new owner it is my job to take full responsibility for this.”
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