High Court hears Dreamland appeal

Thanet Council's plans to create a multi-million pound heritage amusement park have come under attack at the High Court.

Dreamland

New future for Dreamland?

Thanet District Council has put a compulsory purchase order on Margate's Dreamland theme park - promising to reopen the attraction.

A future for Dreamland?

A new vision for the Dreamland theme park in Margate has been unveiled - as the battle for ownership of the derelict site continues.

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Dreamland visitor centre opens today

Dreamland closed in 2003 Credit: ITV Meridian

The Dreamland visitor centre will open today paving the way for the reopening of the historic theme park. Dreamland was one of the country's oldest amusement parks and at one time included a zoo, miniature railway, a cinema, a 2,000-capacity ballroom and Europe's largest big wheel.

But as tastes changed the amusement park fell on hard times, before it finally closed in 2003.

The amusement park closed in 2003 Credit: ITV Meridian

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A chance to see Dreamland

The derelict Dreamland site at Margate, Kent, opens to the public tomorrow for the first time in six years. It's a rare chance to see what remains of the once-famous amusement park before works starts on an £11m restoration project.

John Ryall spoke to Jan Leandro of the Dreamland Trust, organiser of tomorrow's event Dan Thompson and volunteer restoration worker John Cripps.

Dreamland will get a new lease of life

Video. One of the South East's oldest amusement parks is to get a new lease of life. Much of Dreamland in Margate burnt down five years ago. Since then, the former funfair has been the site of the a bitter fight between developers and the local council.

Today, that battle ended when Thanet Council won the backing of three of the country's top judges to acquire the site. They hope their ownership will rejuvenate the resort, drawing thousands of day-trippers and holiday-makers, just like Dreamland used to do. Sarah Saunders reports.

What the council plans to do with Dreamland

Thanet District Council plan to spend £10.3 million to rejuvenate the former Dreamland funfair.

The plans include spending £2.2 million on restoring the Scenic Railway roller coaster.

Another £1.7 million will be spent on other new rides.

It claims that the new heritage theme park will draw in 350,000 visitors a year and will create 14 full time jobs and 32 part time and seasonal jobs.

A £3.7 million government grant will also help with the restoration.

Judges rule that Dreamland will get a new life

Lord Justice Elias decision on turning Dreamland into a new £10m heritage theme park.

The need for regeneration for the economic and social benefit of Margate was overwhelming. There were two schemes in play, only one of which was, in the inspector’s view, satisfactory. The proposed development required the whole site; and the CPO was necessary to secure the relevant land because the appellants were not willing to transfer it voluntarily.

Sadly, like many other seaside towns, Margate has lost much of its former glory and is now one of the most deprived areas in South East England.

It is universally recognised that Margate is in urgent need of regeneration.”

– Lord Justice Elias
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