Eastbourne Pier reopens after Claremont Hotel fire

Eastbourne Pier has reopened today (Tuesday) after a devastating hotel fire.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 2:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 2:35 pm

The seafront landmark has been shut ever since the major blaze at the nearby Claremont Hotel on November 22, which for safety reasons meant a series of road closures too.

But it reopened at 10am this morning with access to the entrance from the lower promenade.

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “While the main cordon around the Claremont Hotel remains in place with a section of the seafront road closed, access to the Pier has been reopened.”

Claremont Hotel fire, photo by Jimmy Gomes

The fire gutted the Grade II* listed building in Grand Parade and sent plumes of smoke into the sky which could be seen for miles.

Abid Gulzar, who owns Eastbourne Pier and used to own the Claremont, said he cried when he saw the destruction.

He said, “First and foremost I felt total shock and upset as I watched the Claremont Hotel burn. I stood and watched.

The Claremont. Eastbourne hotel fire. Picture: Jon Rigby SUS-191123-122320001

“It was a very sad day for Eastbourne and for all the individual businesses and people involved. I do not mind admitting that I cried.”

Mr Gulzar bought Eastbourne Pier after it was nearly destroyed in a fire in July 2014.

Owners of the Burlington Hotel, next door to the Claremont, said it will be closed for some time following the fire. And surrounding roads also remain closed.

The Claremont Hotel has been left severely damaged following the blaze and sections are planned to be demolished.