LETTER: Growing more outrageous

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Abid Gulzar’s plans for the Eastbourne Pier become more outrageous as each week goes by. Last Friday The Herald kindly printed my letter relating to the intention of making a £2 charge for visitors to solely walk round the pier. I am now further incensed having read of his firm resolve to force a highly popular business to shut its doors. This is certainly quite contrary to his constant assertions that he “does not want to upset anybody” and how “he cares about people”. Methinks this is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s “the lady doth protest too much”.

I have now had an opportunity to discuss this disturbing affair with Arran Aghili, the owner of A & T Tackle, and your readers may be interested to know that I have ascertained the following:

At no-time during his five-year ownership was any notice served upon him or his company requiring work to be carried out under Health and Safety Regulations by either Eastbourne Borough Council or any other statutory authority.

During the past five years he has spent more than £10,000 from his personal finances to refurbish and thereby make safe the bottom deck and other areas.

There is no good reason why Mr Gulzar should have spurned proposals made by Mr Aghili whereby A & T Tackle could continue to operate further down the pier whilst Mr Gulzar is having works carried out at the furthest end.

Mr Gulzar’s stated resolve to build a jetty at the end of the pier “to take big boats” is complete fantasy and a non-starter. It is indicative of “his having little knowledge” of the fact that a sandbank area exists some 400 yards from the end of the pier which extends in an easterly direction for between ½ - ¾ mile and westerly past the Wish Tower. This would make it impossible for any envisaged pleasure boat scheme to function. Boats have been grounded in the past.

This information certainly fails to justify the reasons given by Mr Gulzar as to why he is not prepared to renew Mr Aghili’s lease.

Why doesn’t Mr Gulzar now produce copies of the notices under Health and Safety Regulations in support of his claim. Should he be unable to supply these then let him be transparent towards the residents of Eastbourne and all those who have fished off the end of the pier for many years. A financial plan could be interesting. He has said “I am being a responsible owner here, nothing more”. We now challenge him to prove it and initially grant a further lease to Mr Aghili. It is said that forewarned is forearmed and accordingly I earnestly urge EBC to watch every step taken by Mr Gulzar along the pier and ensure that permissions are not given in respect of any proposals which are against our interests.

Michael Harris

South Cliff

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