I have just read the diatribe you printed from Michael Harris [Letters, November 27]. So many people seem to think they are able to operate Abid Gulzar’s business better than he can. The purchase of the pier is an investment that must generate a return. If Mr Gulzar judges that angling is incompatible with his plans, and the relevant lease has expired, it is his choice whether to renew. There are established procedures for such matters which we all had cause to learn during the Wish Tower restaurant debacle.
Mr Harris has swallowed the angling argument hook line and sinker; however that does not make him right. Similarly the issue of whether Mr Gulzar charges a pier entrance fee, with or without a refreshing hot drink, is entirely his decision, as is its naming. We are heavily regulated in matters of development and it will be the appropriate planning authority who will determine if future pier plans are acceptable. Whether the majority will be content with the eventual decision is another matter.
It is Mr Gulzar’s responsibility to ensure a profitable and sustainable future for the pier and he has started a consultation process for which he should be commended. Contrast this with the post fire uncertainty. Regarding using the pier for pleasure boats I recall boarding the MS Balmoral from the pier end. If an obstruction to shipping does exist perhaps Mr Gulzar could dredge a channel and supplement the sea defences at the same time. There is something disturbing in the nature of constant complaint. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.
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