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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 09:26 GMT
'Victory' for Dreamland campaign
Dreamland Theme Park
Campaigners have fought to save the park from closure for some time
Campaigners fighting to save Margate's famous Dreamland amusement park are claiming victory after receiving a government inspector's backing.

The Kent seafront site has been sold to a developer who wants to build shops, flats, a hotel and restaurants.

But a report following a public inquiry last year says Dreamland should stay an amusement park with its listed Scenic Railway roller coaster protected.

"It is better than we could have expected," said spokesman Nick Laister.

"We are absolutely delighted. The inspector seems to have accepted every single one of the points we made at the inquiry.

Everybody wants to see a use for Dreamland that is an asset for Margate
Colin Fitt

"He has quite unequivocally stated that Dreamland should remain as an amusement park."

The park, which opened in the 1920s, was open for the 2005 season.

But a planning application was expected to be submitted by The Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company in 2006.

Alternative plans drawn up by international theme park designer Jean-Marc Toussaint have been adopted by the Save Dreamland Campaign.

As well as the Dreamland site, the public inquiry looked at all aspects of Thanet council's local plan for the district's development until 2011.

The inspector also rejected the council's proposal for housing on land near the Moses Montefiore Synagogue in Ramsgate.

'Broadly pleased'

However, Thanet's development manager Colin Fitt said he was broadly pleased with the 550 page report.

"We had a public inquiry that lasted for almost six months and it was inevitable that the inspector was going to disagree with the council's strategy on one or two particular sites," he said.

"Everybody wants to see a use for Dreamland that is an asset for Margate and the council is going to have to consider the inspector's words very carefully."

He said the local plan set out policies to protect Thanet's beaches and countryside, which the inspector acknowledged were the right strategy.

The council will consider the report at a meeting in January and is entitled to accept or reject the inspector's recommendations.

A six-week public consultation will follow.




SEE ALSO:
Dreamland closes its doors
02 Nov 03 |  Kent


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