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Dreamland sale could be subject to extra conditions

Three independent valuations of Dreamland should be sought before it is sold by the local authority to its current operators, councillors have recommended tonight.

Thanet District Council's overview and scrutiny committee says the theme park in Margate should also be protected from housing development for 18 years - up from the 10 years agreed when a decision to sell the site was approved by cabinet members on August 2.

The cabinet decision came before a special meeting of the scrutiny committee this evening after Labour and Green Party councillors in Thanet called for it to be further examined.

The current operator is expected to buy the site
The current operator is expected to buy the site

The two recommendations will now go back to cabinet before a final decision is ratified.

Two further conditions on the sale were suggested - to claim back a percentage of sales should houses ever be built on the site, and to remove the freehold of the car park from the deal.

Both were rejected after a vote.

Should the decision to sell be agreed once more, the current operators of the park - Sands Heritage Limited - will purchase the site for an undisclosed sum.

The amusement park in Margate
The amusement park in Margate

Such a deal is expected to allow SHL - which has invested £50 million into Dreamland since taking the lease in 2015 - to push forward with ambitious plans to enhance the park, including the construction of a seafront hotel.

It will also take ownership of the derelict cinema building.

The cabinet has 15 days to meet again to discuss the proposal.

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