Stone lion helps Eastbourne Bandstand roar

Sheik Abid Gulzar owner of Lions Hotels with some of his staff and the Lion at the bandstand.
Sheik Abid Gulzar owner of Lions Hotels with some of his staff and the Lion at the bandstand.
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A LION which once sat controversially in the Pevensey countryside is now at the bandstand for the Christmas season.

The white stone lion, which belongs to Abid Gulzar from the Lions Hotels, sits at the foot of Eastbourne Bandstand because the hotel group is sponsoring the decorations this year.

The lion first appeared on the seafront outside the bandstand and was visible from the road but Eastbourne Borough Council asked Mr Gulzar to move the statue down

Mr Gulzar said, “The Bandstand is such a popular attraction over the Christmas period for both local people and visitors, and we are delighted to be funding the decorations for the second year running.

“We are also very happy that the council has acknowledged our support by allowing one of our lion mascots to be displayed.”

The lions have caused a stir in the area over the last few years. Mr Gulzar has always have white lions outside his hotel but in 2009 they appeared outside his farmland on the Pevensey Levels.

There was no planning permission for the lions and after a retrospective planning application and an appeal, Wealden District Council ordered Mr Gulzar to remove the lions from his gateposts because they were not in-keeping with the countryside.

New homes were then found for the statues. Four were given a new den on the roundabout outside the Sovereign Centre and another will now spend Christmas guarding the bandstand.