New plans unveiled for Eastbourne Pier

The owner of Eastbourne Pier has revealed new plans to replace the Victorian kiosks destroyed in the 2014 blaze.

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eastbourne pier fire SUS-140730-204409001

Kiosks in the middle of the seafront landmark, used as retail units, were totally destroyed in the fire and were not replaced by the previous owners before the pier was bought by hotelier Abid Gulzar two years ago.

Now Mr Gulzar has applied to Eastbourne council’s planning department to replace like for like two kiosks in the middle of the pier heading down towards the main retail area of gift shops, the glass blowing centre, Victorian tea room and nightclub.

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Mr Gulzar said if the kiosks are given the go ahead, he is not yet sure what will go in them but it is likely to be more amusement arcades.

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He said he needed to install something that would continue to make money.

“Eastbourne Pier isn’t like Hastings Pier which is a charity and has a lot of charitable money ploughed into it,” said Mr Gulzar, who bought the pier from Cuerden Leisure in November 2015.

Since then Mr Gulzar says he has put in hundreds of thousands of pounds of his own money to restore the Grade 2 star Listed building.

“The proposed application is for like for like replacement of the burnt units sadly destroyed in the fire of July 2014,” said Mr Gulzar.

eastbourne pier fire SUS-140730-204521001

“This is a business and we need income so we can continue making Eastbourne Pier the best in the country.”

The planning application, he says, has the backing of Historic England, and he is hoping town planners will approve the plans.

Further planning applications are expected in the new year and will include plans for the opened decked area at the front of the pier as well as replacing the iconic clock at the front of the landmark.

A third of the pier was destroyed when fire broke out on Wednesday July 30 2014.

The blaze was investigated as arson by Sussex Police.