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Dreamland to be sold by Thanet District Council

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

Dreamland is set to be sold off by Thanet District Council after cabinet agreed to dispose of the entire site.

The authority compulsory purchased the then-derelict site back in 2011 in a bid to revitalise the Margate amusement park, and has leased it to Sands Heritage Limited since 2015.

But officers have decided now is the right time to sell Dreamland to the current operators for an unknown sum, with members agreeing to the deal – subject to conditions – at a meeting last night.

The former cinema building and all of the rides will be included in the sale
The former cinema building and all of the rides will be included in the sale

These include not allowing the new owner to develop the site for housing within the next decade, relieving the council of any public grant obligations related to the site, and the retention of current public parking levels.

Leader Cllr Bob Bayford (Con) said: “Dreamland is an iconic heritage theme park with a very troubled past, brought back to life via the council’s CPO and now ready to be returned to private sector ownership to ensure its long-term future.

“Dreamland represents a current and potential liability to the council, with current and future costs which are unsustainable.

“Now is considered an optimum time to dispose of the site to the lessee and operator Sands Heritage Limited to safeguard its future and support regeneration.”

Dreamland visitors brave the rain

It was confirmed the new owner will have to – at least – meet the independent valuation of the site, although the leader admitted there may only be one carried out.

He added: “It’s a very specialist valuation job – there aren’t too many heritage amusement parks to value, and Savills (property agents) has given advice.

The council bought the site in 2011
The council bought the site in 2011

“I’m sure through the process that we will check it and if it’s deemed we should have more than one valuation then we’ll do it.”

The land – including the former cinema building and all of the rides, as well as Dreamland’s intellectual property rights will be transferred to Sands Heritage Limited if a deal is reached.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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