Welcome to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company Dreamland consultation
The MTCRC public consultation was slightly more impressive in some ways than I had expected. Not knowing the natue of the event, I did not arrive at the Winter Gardens until about a quarter to 12, when I arrived, a presentation was being given by one of those consultant type chaps, had the MTCRC advertised the fact that there was to be a formal presentation I would not have dawdled and been there five minutes late instead of 45 minutes late.
Now whether I missed anything of importance that Toby Hunter, Chairman of the MTCRC had to say, I will probably never know. I must say I am mortified, at having missed most of Dan Anderson's (one those consultant types(senior consultant TRIBAL consulting)), giving an enthralling lecture I think on social economic geography of Britain, which I presume supports the MTCRC assertion that theme parks are not viable, so tough tities to luddites like me.
The question and answer section, was very good and this blogger was able to ask questions of the chairman, unfortunately as per usual I probably rambled on a bit, becoming more incoherent as I went on but I feel I got reasonable answers even if they weren't the ones I wanted and to be fair Toby Hunter did well to decifer my mumbles.
As I mentioned in my previous post, big-money is at stake over the development potential for Dreamland and MTCRC were generous enough to provide a choice of liquid and other refreshments, anymore hospitality and I would have begun to agree with them.
After the presentation there were several areas set-aside to allow those who attended, a chance to discuss what they would like to see happen, with the site. These discussion groups seemed to be handled quite constructively, except when challenged by a simple-minded chap like myself who sees the best future for this site, as an amusement or theme park. All the MTCRC people seemed faintly hostile at the suggestion that Dreamland should revert to being a major attraction.
One of the good points, was having the time to talk individually with people including Toby Hunter, Dan Anderson and Liss Werner (DLA architecture) even if you don't necessarily agree with them.
The overall impression I got from that consultation was too much information and to many suggestions leaving the MTCRC free to interpret as suits their needs (what Americans might call a snow job).
One thing I could agree with wholeheartedly was the suggestion by Toby Hunter that Thanet council lacked any clear vision for Margate.I'm pretty sure a majority of Thanet residents do not want to see a change of use for Dreamland wouldn't it be great if the council developed some backbone and supported local wishes.
Toby Hunter’s assertion that he is an invester, does not necessarily mean that his company somehow, has final say over the use of the land, this is why we have planning authorities, who have to balance the interest of devolopers and the social & environmental needs of the community. Those investors bought a theme park, if they were forced to use this land for its existing purpose they have only themselves to blame.