Dreamland Inquiry Starts

A public inquiry into what should happen to the old Dreamland amusement park on Margate seafront is getting underway.

Last year, Thanet Council applied for a Compulsory Purchase Order to take over the site which has been vacant and unused for five years.

The order gives officials the power to force the sales of the land, if it is in the interest of the public or local community. Councillors want to turn the once popular attraction into the world's first heritage amusement park with historic rides and classic sides shows, and say it would be a key part in the regeneration of the area.

But the owners, The Margate Town Centre Regeneration company, have objected to the order and have their own plan for hte site, including the building of more than 400 new homes.

The inquiry is being held in the Council Chamber in Margate and is open to the public. It is expected to last for approximately two weeks, although as it will not sit every day, it may last until the end of January.

Once all the evidence is heard, a report from the Planning Inspector is expected in late February or early March. This will then be submitted to the Secretary of State, who will make a decision on the case.

The council's plans include the restoration of the Grade II listed Scenic Railway and the historic rides collection, and repairs to the Grade II listed Dreamland Cinema building.