THE hotelier facing a £135,000 bill after being found guilty of damaging a protected conservation site on Pevensey Levels says the court judgement won’t stop him working to make Eastbourne a better place.
Sheikh Abid Gulzar, chair of Lions Hotels, was taken to court by Natural England following the discovery of a series of damaging activities carried out on his land at Pevensey Levels - none of which had been given consent. He was fined £45,000 and ordered to pay £90,000 costs after being found guilty.
Mr Gulzar, 68, said this week he remained shocked and very upset by the decision, but that he remains committed to the town 100 per cent.
“I do not believe that I have done anything wrong, but I don’t want to repeat what I said last week.
“Instead, I want to re-emphasise that I love Eastbourne and I remain committed to doing the very best I can for it.”
Mr Gulzar said he is particularly upset because he used the land at Pevensey to support his charities he helps on a regular basis including Lark in the Park, Cruse Bereavement Care, Sasbah and the Children With Cancer Fund.
“Nothing gave me more pleasure than seeing these local charities, watching the disabled children, having fun using my facilities,” said Mr Gulzar.
“That was something very special to me and something I used to do on a regular basis. I can no longer do that at Pevensey.
“I feel privileged that I can help these superb local organisations and benefit either disabled people or those less fortunate, and one court decision will not stop me from carrying this work on.”