Appeal Court dismisses legal challenge to Thanet council's compulsory purchase of Dreamland site in Margate
Thanet council can press ahead with plans to turn the old Dreamland site in Margate into a heritage amusement park after a legal bid failed today.
The Court of Appeal has this morning dismissed a challenge to the authority's compulsory purchase of the site.
It means it can get on with work to develop the land, which it wants to re-open in 2015.
The site was closed since a fire destroyed its flagship attraction, the Scenic Railway, in 2008 and the ultimate aim is to open a heritage-style theme park.
The Dreamland Trust, which was formed following the six year Save Dreamland Campaign, will now continue with the rebranding and design of the attraction.
The compulsory purchase order was approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in August last year.
But the long legal process saw a challenge from the site owners heard in the High Court in March, with was subsequently dismissed in May.
It was followed by the latest appeal, which was turned down today.
First on the council's to-do list will be to renovate the Grade ll-listed ride, cinema building and menagerie cages at the Margate venue.
As this work goes on, re-branding and design proposals will be laid out by the Dreamland Trust and its partners, the group formed after the six-year Save Dreamland Campaign.
The aim is to open a heritage-style theme park with traditional rides in 2015.
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How a revamped Dreamland could look
Thanet District Council leader Cllr Clive Hart said: "This is fantastic news and marks a key milestone for the future of Dreamland.
"With significant external funding in place and overwhelming public support, we have remained confident in our vision to create a world class visitor attraction on this site.
"We are committed to delivering this landmark project and believe the compulsory purchase of the land was the only viable option to save and restore Dreamland, given the unacceptable length of time it has remained empty.
"Dreamland is a precious asset for Thanet and beyond, so we are thrilled with today's ruling."
- Jan Leandro, from the Dreamland Trust, reacts to the Appeal Court decision
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