Tough measures have been taken by Thanet District Council to secure Dreamland’s future. The council’s cabinet has invoked compulsory purchase proceedings against the landowners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company.
Council 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 this 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.”
The council agreed in May last year 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 land would then be transfered 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.
Dreamland Trust Chairman, Nick Laister said;
“We had hoped that the compulsory purchase of Dreamland would not be necessary, but any further delay could have jeopardised the project. Dreamland is an essential component of Margate’s regeneration, being in such a prominent location on the seafront as well as providing training and employment opportunities for Thanet. We are therefore pleased that we can now move forward with our preparations for starting work on this world’s first visitor attraction.”