What is happening to Eastbourne pier? I remember being on the beach that tragic day in 2014 when the fire took hold. The blaze did horrendous damage but the response of the community was magnificent - a real rallying round to support the rebuilding of this great structure.
The work to repair the pier pushed ahead, at one time well ahead of schedule. However, I together with many others have wondered what happened to the iconic blue room. It has not been replaced, instead an open space exists where the once great building resided.
Now, not only has the restoration not been fully completed but the pier has been flogged off to Sheikh Abid Gulzar. He has wasted no time taking possession, naming the pier as “Sheikh’s pier.”
The fishermen and women and the whole community based world that existed at the end of the pier are to be swept away. No notice it would seem has been taken of the 2,300 petition of protest.
The worry must be that what was once a community orientated space premised on the common good of all will simply become a rich man’s play thing.
The council would also do well to take note, given its ongoing concern for the tourist appeal of the town. The pier plays an important part in the overall image of Eastbourne – destroying this community based icon could have repercussions that stretch well beyond the quarter mile that the pier stretches out into the sea.