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Thanet District Council has served a Compulsory Purchase Order on the Dreamland site in Margate.
The legal order gives officials the power to force the sale of the land, if it is in the interest of the public or local community.
Councillors say they have been forced to take action after failing to reach an agreement with the owners, The Margate Town Centre Regeneration company, despite months of negotiations.
The council, which is working in partnership with the Dreamland Trust hopes to build a new amusement park and entertainment complex on the old Dreamland site. Millions of pounds have already been invested in the project by Thanet, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The attraction would be the world's first Heritage amusement park, full of historic rides, classic sideshows, vintage cafes, restaurants, special events and gardens.
Chief Executive Richard Samuel said: "We are determined to continue the regeneration of Margate, which has already seen an enormous boost with the opening of Turner Contemporary, with the project to open a world first at Dreamland.
"Because of the importance of this site to the town’s future, we need to take action to ensure that the heritage amusement park goes ahead. This is not something we wanted to do, but the failure of the owners to reach a sensible agreement has left us with no choice but to take compulsory purchase action.
"We have been in negotiations for many months now and we feel that we have been generous to a fault. We are fully committed to supporting the Dreamland Trust in making this happen and that’s why we’re taking this action."