Thanet District Council agrees to compulsory purchase Dreamland, 3 MAY 2011

Thanet District Council agrees to compulsory purchase Dreamland A Compulsory Purchase Order is due to be served by Thanet District Council on the Dreamland site.

Thanet District Council and the Dreamland Trust are working in partnership to create a unique visitor attraction for Margate, which will secure the town’s regeneration and boost the local economy. The new Dreamland will be the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides with classic sideshows, vintage cafes, restaurants, special events and gardens.

Millions of pounds have already been invested by the council, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring this project to fruition.

The council agreed in May 2010 that it would start compulsory purchase proceedings on the site, if terms were not agreed for the transfer of the freehold of the cinema building and land. At the time, this had been agreed in principle by the landowners, the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company. The land would then be given by the council to the Dreamland Trust on a long lease for a peppercorn rent.

Since then, the council has held detailed negotiations with the landowners, but it has not been possible to agree an acceptable position to the council. As a result, the council’s Cabinet agreed on Thursday 28 April to launch compulsory purchase proceedings.

Chief Executive Richard Samuel said: “We are determined to continue the regeneration of Margate, which has already seen an enormous boost with the opening of Turner Contemporary, with the project to open a world first at Dreamland. Because of the importance of this site to the town’s future, we need to take action to ensure that the heritage amusement park goes ahead. Huge amounts of money have already been invested to bring this project to fruition and we can wait no longer for agreement from the landowners. This is not something we wanted to do, but the failure of the owners to reach a sensible agreement has left us with no choice but to take compulsory purchase action. We have been in negotiations for many months now and we feel that we have been generous to a fault. This project needs to go ahead. We are fully committed to supporting the Dreamland Trust in making this happen and that’s why we’re taking this action.”

Chair of the Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister, said: “The Dreamland Trust is delighted that Thanet District Council has shown its strong commitment to the Dreamland Margate project and is proceeding with the compulsory purchase of the Dreamland amusement park site. With all the technical work now complete and a substantial part of the funding in place, the acquisition of the site by the Council will allow the Trust to commence work on the implementation of what is a key project for the regeneration of Margate. We look forward to working with Thanet District Council and our other partners to deliver the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides on the Dreamland site.”

Dreamland will provide training and employment for the local community and help re-establish Margate as a top visitor destination.

This news is reported at BBC News, KentOnline, Heart and This is Kent, and was featured this evening on Meridian Tonight and BBC South East TV news.

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