PRESS RELEASE

SUCCESSFUL COMPULSORY PURCHASE DECISION FOR DREAMLAND SITE

Following a public enquiry earlier this year, Thanet District Council has today (Friday 17 August) received approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for the compulsory purchase of the Dreamland site.

The council will now work to secure title to the land, which it must acquire before access to the site can be granted and work can proceed. Securing title to the land will open up a funding package of over £10 million to deliver the project.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Clive Hart, said: “I’m thrilled with today’s announcement. This is a key step to unlocking the regeneration of the Dreamland site and means we can start to move in the right direction, in partnership with The Dreamland Trust, to progress the future of the site which has been vacant for a significant amount of time.

“Dreamland is such an important asset for Thanet, and for thousands outside of the area, so we’ve always been clear that doing nothing is simply not acceptable.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination to get to this point, with the council spending more than £1 million on carrying out urgent repairs to the neglected heritage assets.

“I’m thrilled that the Secretary of State is confident in our plans to help secure the regeneration of Dreamland, and today’s announcement moves us closer to delivering this greatly anticipated amusement park.”

Chair of The Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister, said: “The Dreamland Trust is delighted that the Secretary of State has backed our plans to reopen Dreamland as a major seaside visitor attraction of regional and national significance. Along with our partners, Thanet District Council, we were confident that our plans would be found to be robust, deliverable and in the public interest. The Trust was very pleased to support the council in its efforts to secure the site to enable us to implement our vision, which has been shown time and time again to be the development that the people of Thanet most want to see happen.

“The residents and businesses of Thanet, and its many existing and future visitors, have waited far too long for work on this project to start. With our funding in place and our plans drawn up, today’s news is hopefully the final major hurdle that we will have to cross.

“The Dreamland Trust is ready to make a start on site and we hope to have Stage One of the project fully open by Easter 2014.”

Once the land is vested to the authority, the council will gain access to the site to allow important structural surveys to begin ahead of construction.

The council is working in partnership with The Dreamland Trust to create a world first for the site, an amusement park of thrilling historic rides, with classic side shows, cafés, restaurants, special events, festivals and gardens.

The project will also celebrate the British seaside and popular culture, with a focus on youth cultural heritage. It is a major part of Margate’s regeneration programme, creating volunteer, learning, training and employment opportunities for the local community.

ENDS   

Notes to Editor:

The Dreamland Trust is working in partnership with Thanet District Council (TDC) to create the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides, classic side shows, vintage cafés, restaurants and gardens with special events and festivals and to celebrate this important part of our popular and youth culture heritage.

The Dreamland Trust emerged from the Save Dreamland Campaign to rescue the park and its heritage assets including:

  • The 1920 Scenic Railway – the UK’s oldest roller coaster and a Grade II* listed structure.
  • The 1935 2,200 seat Grade II* listed cinema building – a super-cinema forerunner.
  • Lord George Sanger’s Grade II-listed menagerie cages dating back to the 1800s –      believed to be the last remaining type of their kind.

Dreamland’s description is an ‘amusement park of thrilling historic rides’ – it is not a fairground, fun fair, fun park, theme park or heritage park.

The Dreamland Margate project has grown out of a vigorous and widely supported community campaign to save the site from redevelopment into housing and retail units.

The Dreamland Margate project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Sea Change programme and TDC.

TDC served a compulsory purchase order on the Dreamland site owners on 3 June 2011, which went to Public Inquiry in January 2012.

For more information on this story please contact:

Hannah Thorpe

Communications Officer, Thanet District Council

Tel: 01843 577120

e-mail: hannah.thorpe@thanet.gov.uk

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