Council granted CPO for Margate theme park

Thanet District Council has been given the go-ahead to serve a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to progress plans to regenerate a disused amusement park in Margate.

Dreamland: Pickles backs CPO
Dreamland: Pickles backs CPO

Communities secretary Eric Picles has approved an application to compulsorily purchase the Dreamland amusement park site in the town.

The council, with campaign group The Dreamland Trust, says it wants to revive the amusement park with a historical theme, including "thrilling historic rides, classic side shows, cafés, restaurants, special events, festivals and gardens".

But the park’s landowner, DreamlandLive, which has rival proposals for the site that include housing, has expressed disappointment about the decision.

The council, which served the notice in June last year, says securing the title to the land will open up a funding package of more than £10 million to deliver the project.

Council leader Clive Hart said: "I’m thrilled with today’s announcement. This is a key step to unlocking the regeneration of the Dreamland site. It 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."

Hart said the council has spent more than £1 million so far on carrying out urgent repairs to the park’s "neglected heritage assets". These include a 1920-built rollercoaster, described as the UK’s oldest, and a cinema built in 1935.

In a statement, DreamlandLive, formerly the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, said: "Clearly we are very disappointed with this outcome. We remain convinced that the only viable, sustainable way forward for the Dreamland site is the right mix of entertainment space funded by much-needed quality housing. This is key to the area’s re-generation.

"We will be assessing the details of the report with our legal team in the coming weeks and responding more fully in due course."

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