The final two domes on Eastbourne Pier are to be painted gold.
Planners at the Borough Council gave the go ahead last night (25 April), despite some objections from the board, who felt the gold paint would remove the final authentic look of the pier’s domes.
However, a proposal put forward by the pier’s owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar to paint the roof to the entrance of the pier white, was refused. It was felt this would be out of keeping with the character of the town and would make the pier look ‘plastic’. Another concern was the upkeep, maintaining a clean appearance of such a roof.
Historic England had also opposed the move saying “We advise... against a uniform white washed paint over the structure because of the visual impact this would have, resulting in no clear distinction between the roofs and walls of the structures on the pier. The result of this would be to cause harm to the attractive and historic appearance of the pavilions and kiosks on the pier, and the public’s appreciation and understanding of the details and materials of their construction. ... If consent is granted for one large zinc roof to be painted in white, we would have concerns that it would establish a precedent for others to be painted in a similar way... The painting of this roof and others in this way would, in addition to the points raised above, interfere with the appreciation of the distinctive and celebrated silhouette of the roofscape of the pier in longer distant views. We can see no strong justification for this change.”
Mr Gulzar, who was unable to attend last night’s meeting through illness, commented from Eastbourne DGH, “I am very disappointed with this decision.
“The decision more seems to be reflection of the personal opinions and not public opinion. Hundreds of people have written to me congratulating on the hard work and fully supported the application. General public have commended on my hard work and appreciate me taking the responsibility of the most important asset in town.
“I was further disappointed that this time no Counsellors had made the effort to visit the Pier to take Public Opinion. Furthermore, there were critical mentions of the previously approved application of gold painted domes. This was not required as the applications are not connected. It was nothing but personal. The professional advice of the planning department recommended the approval, whilst giving the most importance to the public benefit which outweighs any minor harms. The Counsellors wanted to respect the professional opinions of the English Heritage on this instance, which they over ridden last time.
“There had been questions asked regarding the quality of paint, work and maintenance on the pier. I ask where all these people were when this Pier was being allowed to sink in the Sea. None of these people took the initiative or responsibility for this most important heritage asset. Quite ironic how there is so much keenness to save the heritage without actually taking any responsibility or doing something for it. Every lamp post on the seafront is white and gold and blue, which somehow does not cause any harm. We have used the most expensive paint specially meant for marine environment. The Pier is looking most magnificent and royal now.
“Whilst I am heavily investing in the pier decisions like this dishearten me. I would expect everyone to work together to achieve what is best for this asset and Eastbourne as a town. We will make it Great Eastbourne one day!!!”