Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Dreamland Site transfers to Thanet District Council

Ownership of the iconic Dreamland site in Margate has transferred to Thanet District Council today (Tuesday 3rd September).

In partnership with The Dreamland Trust, the council will now progress with plans to create a world class visitor attraction for Margate – an amusement park of thrilling historic rides.

Surveyors will be the first on-site to assess the condition of the land, which has stood empty for more than five years. Further work will also be undertaken to protect the three important heritage assets on the site, the Grade ll* listed Scenic Railway, the Grade ll* listed cinema building and the Grade ll Menagerie Cages.

During this time, The Dreamland Trust and renowned HemingwayDesign team, will continue to lead on developing a brand and will progress with the creative design of the park.

Although this is a key milestone for the project, the compulsory purchase of the site is still subject to legal challenge by the former site owners, which is due to be heard at the Appeals Court on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Clive Hart, said: “The transfer of Dreamland to the council is another significant step towards creating a world class visitor attraction on this site. With overwhelming public support and the vital funds in place, we have been resolute in our commitment to deliver this landmark project and believe that the compulsory purchase of the land was the only viable option to save and restore the site.

“The continued legal challenge is nothing short of frustrating. The council has carried out significant urgent repairs to the important heritage assets and has been saddened to see the site stand vacant and unused for such a long period of time.

“With support from the Secretary of State, and the High Court, we are hopeful that the right outcome will be determined at the appeal, and will continue to do all we can to unlock the regeneration of this part of Margate.”

The Dreamland Trust Chairman, Nick Laister, said: "The transfer of the site to our partner Thanet District Council is one of the biggest milestones in our efforts to return Dreamland to its rightful place as Margate's biggest visitor attraction and to the people and community of Margate.

"The Dreamland Trust and TDC have worked very hard to secure this transfer in the best interests of Thanet, as having a large, derelict wasteland in the middle of the seafront has been so detrimental to the image of Margate. The transformation of the town has already started following the opening of Turner Contemporary in 2011, and the reopening of Dreamland as the world's first amusement park of thrilling historic rides in 2015 will be the another big step forward for the resort.

"We hope to be able to cross the final hurdle at the Court of Appeal later this month. We have the right team in place to deliver this project and, with the necessary funding now available to us, we are confident that the people and businesses of Thanet will not have to wait too long now to see visible progress on site."

This is a Thanet District Council Press Release, available to read at www.thanet.gov.uk

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