Margate's Dreamland compulsory purchase order approved

Thanet council has £10m to create an amusement park of historical rides

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Thanet council has been given the go-ahead to purchase Margate's disused Dreamland theme park.

The authority wants to turn the site into a £10m heritage park with historical rides and sideshows.

The secretary of state for communities and local government gave approval for the compulsory purchase of Dreamland following a public inquiry.

The current owners DreamlandLive objected to the sale, saying the council's plan was not affordable.

DreamlandLive's plan involved building 400 homes, as well as restoring the Grade II*-listed Scenic Railway around a fun park and a digital media studio.

The two competing visions of the site were aired during a public inquiry in January.

Margate artist Tracey Emin said it was "the best news Margate could ever have - and about time".

She added: "All of Margate has been campaigning for this. Now it's finally happening. Dreamland says it all."

'National significance'

Councillor Clive Hart, Labour leader of Thanet District Council, said: "I'm thrilled with today's announcement.

"This is a key step to unlocking the regeneration of the Dreamland site and 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."

The park will be run by the Dreamland Trust, which will be given the site by the council for a peppercorn rent once the title to the land has been secured.

Nick Laister, who chairs the trust, said: "The Dreamland Trust is delighted that the secretary of state has backed our plans to reopen Dreamland as a major seaside visitor attraction of regional and national significance.

"The residents and businesses of Thanet, and its many existing and future visitors, have waited far too long for work on this project to start.

"The Dreamland Trust is ready to make a start on site and we hope to have stage one of the project fully open by easter 2014."

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