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New Dreamland could be open by next summer

PUBLISHED: 09:39 03 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:39 03 May 2013

Dreamland amusement park, Margate

Dreamland amusement park, Margate

Archant

High court judges rule in favour of Thanet District Council

The new Dreamland heritage park could be open as soon as next summer after Thanet District Council were given the go-ahead to take control of the iconic seaside site.

High court judges yesterday (May 2) backed the council and partners The Dreamland Trust to implement a compulsory purchase order and buy the site from current owners DreamlandLive

The popular venue has been empty for more than seven years and last summer the Government gave TDC the nod to re-gain the land – a decision which was unsuccessfully appealed by DreamlandLive.

Chairman of The Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister was delighted with the ruling. He 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.”

DreamlandLive are believed to have been keen on plans to build both a fun park and new housing on the site but Thanet council are instead looking to spend £11 million creating a heritage fun park.

Renowned designer Wayne Hemingway will have a big part to play in the proposed re-design of the new venue with plans to restore the historic, Grade II-listed Scenic Railway ride as well as the 1935, 2,200 seat Grade II-listed cinema building.

The project is set to be funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Sea Change programme and Thanet Distric Council.

Thanet District Council chief executive, Sue McGonigal, said: “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.”

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