Plans to open Dreamland in Margate as a major seaside attraction are back on track for Thanet District Council and The Dreamland Trust following a High Court ruling today (Thursday 2nd May).
Judge Sycamore comprehensively dismissed a legal challenge over the decision to grant the council ownership of the site.
The council originally received approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for the compulsory purchase of the site in August 2012. Current owners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, then launched an appeal which challenged this decision.
Following the successful High Court ruling, 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.
Once title is secured, a funding package will open up to help deliver the project.
The council is working in partnership with The Dreamland Trust to regenerate the site to create the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides, classic side shows, vintage cafés, restaurants 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.
Director of Community Services for Thanet District Council, Madeline Homer, said: “Today’s ruling from the High Court comes as very welcome news. We now have a clear mandate to progress with our plans to deliver a brand new and unique visitor attraction for the South East. With overwhelming public support, and the vital funds in place, there has been no doubt about our commitment to see this project through. Getting to this point has certainly been frustrating, especially with the site left vacant and unused for a significant amount of time. Our focus now will be to progress with plans to dramatically regenerate Dreamland and I look forward to seeing the potential benefits this will bring to Margate.”
Chairman of The Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister, said: “The Dreamland Trust was confident that the Secretary of State had made the right decision for the future of the Dreamland Margate site and we are delighted that this decision has been found to be a sound one. The residents and businesses of Thanet have waited too long to see this important tourism site come back to life, and this decision means that we should be able to finally make a start. We look forward to working with our partners Thanet District Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund in implementing the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides.”