Margate Dreamland: Judgment reserved in High Court case

Scenic Railway
Image caption Thanet District Council has in place almost £10m to create an amusement park of historical rides

Judgment has been reserved in the High Court case over who should control Margate's disused Dreamland theme park.

The owners of the site, DreamlandLive and eight other parties, are appealing against a government decision to award a compulsory purchase order to Thanet council.

They argue the decision is "flawed" and the council's proposal for a £10m heritage park is "unaffordable".

The owners are proposing the building of 400 homes and a fun park instead.

The secretary of state for communities and local government approved the acquisition of the land for the heritage scheme in May 2011 after a public inquiry.

Scenic Railway

Under the council's plans, the Dreamland Trust would be given the site for a peppercorn rent.

Working in partnership with the Dreamland Trust, it wants to create an amusement park with historical rides, classic sideshows, vintage cafes, restaurants and gardens with special events and festivals.

It would also restore the Grade II-listed Scenic Railway, which was damaged in an arson attack in 2008.

Richard Glover QC, appearing for the site owners, told Judge Sycamore that if the compulsory purchase order (CPO) threat was lifted, the claimants intended to bring forward development proposals that would be "of significantly greater benefit to Margate than the CPO scheme".

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