2003 the owner of Dreamland, Jimmy Godden, announced the closure of Dreamland.
The park is to be redeveloped as "leisure boxes, some retail and a supermarket".
Joyland Books will provide updates on the campaign to save Dreamland and its
internationally-important Scenic Railway ride.
Click here for the latest news
A letter from Thanet District Council's Chief
Executive, Richard Samuel, has been published in today's Thanet Gazette.
The letter is in response to Sarah Vickery's letter, published in the Gazette on
10 December (scroll down the News page to read Sarah's etter), and states:
Fun park consultation
No story exists around the next steps for Dreamland. There was nothing in my
statement to BBC South East that isn't self-evidently true. Dreamland lies
empty for nine to 10 months a year, contributing nothing to the local
economy. The future for the site must be economic activity that is all year
round whether that is an amusement park or some other use.
Cllr John Kirby
has confirmed the council is carefully considering the details of the
inspector's report and in January the full council will decide the way
forward. Further public consultation will follow and we would welcome the
opportunity to discuss the future with the Save Dreamland Campaign.
Neither Cllr Kirby or I are pre-empting the January decision, which will
be fully reported.
Richard Samuel, Thanet council chief executive
Save Dreamland Campaign Leader, Nick Laister,
said: "Clearly there is a story around the next steps for Dreamland. Mr Samuel
is continuing to apparently ignore what the independent inspector has
said. He is, of course, entirely wrong that Dreamland lies empty for nine to 10
months a year. Most amusement parks in Britain - including Dreamland - are open
from Easter to the October half-term holidays, which is (count it, Mr Samuel)
seven months. Adventure Island at Southend-on-Sea, the owner of which has
publicly stated his serious interest in acquiring Dreamland, is open for 12
months a year. The Inspector stated that Dreamland's problems are a matter of
management, and that is the only reason why the park has been empty for nine to
10 months a year since 2003. The Inspector also stated that "some other use" (to use Mr
Samuel's words) would not be acceptable. We continue to be disappointed by Mr
Samuel's position, which is completely inappropriate before the Council has even
considered the Inspector's findings. It also begs the question: How many of
Thanet's residents will take part in future planning consultations when they see
the Council's most senior officer publicly disregarding the findings within
hours of their publication?"
An advert has appeared in amusement trade
newspaper World's Fair, stating that the entire Dreamland site is to let
for up to three years. The contact details on the advert are the Margate Town
Centre Regeneration Company Ltd at the offices of Waterbridge Group in Newbury,
Berkshire. The advert also states that this is "pending redevelopment".
Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, says: "This advert
is clearly disappointing after the recent Inspector's Report, which stated that
Dreamland should remain an amusement park. Whilst it is good to see that the
park might be open next year, it looks like we are going to end up
with yet more uncertainty, yet another short-term solution, with travelling
rides and no investment in the site itself. As I understand it, whoever takes
the site on can be given one month's notice to leave the site at any time.
Hardly a recipe for a successful visitor attraction. This
demonstrates strongly the need for the Council to hurry up and accept the
Inspector's recommendations so that a long-term operator can be found for the
A letter from our very own Sarah Vickery appeared
in yesterday's edition of the Thanet Gazette:
Fun park threat
I am delighted the long-awaited inspector's report on the Thanet Local Plan
public inquiry has stated Dreamland should remain an amusement park and the
listed Scenic Railway at its centre should be protected. The independent
inspector has accepted every point made by those wishing to keep Dreamland
and has rejected virtually every point made by Thanet council and the sites
owner. However, 24 hours after this report was made public, BBC South East
Today broadcast a disturbing interview with council chief executive Richard
Local residents were interviewed stressing the importance of Dreamland to
Margate. The reporter then stated : "But the council doesn't see it that
way. They think a fun park isn't viable." Mr Samuel said : "Margate is a
depressed town centre, it doesn't have much activity for the majority of the
year and we would like to see something in Dreamland that actually brings in
jobs and employment and wealth into the local economy because Margate badly
Thanet council's press release, which accompanied the report, quoted Cllr
John Kirby : "We will be considering the inspector's recommendations on this
issue carefully over the next few weeks." Cllr Kirby promised consultation
with the people of Thanet. How can it be appropriate for the chief executive
to be telling the media the council would like to see different uses for
Dreamland? It flies in the face of the inspector's findings and
demonstrates a complete disregard for the inquiry process. I hope, like me,
you will be watching Thanet council very closely to ensure they treat the
inspector's findings with the respect they deserve.
Sarah Vickery, Save Dreamland Campaign