Reading's Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company
This weekend, sees the return of Reading-based developer Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, from their publicity and advertising we're informed, that they will be displaying two plans for the site.
Now my critics, who might well include Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, will doubtless take my reference to this company being Reading-based as a fairly cheap shot, which to be honest it is, however their advertising and presentation appears to me to be a deliberate attempt give themselves the look of some officially sanctioned organisation with close links to the local community, despite the fact they're main link to Margate, is the speculative purchase, of a run down site, which they are seeking to increase in value, by changing the use.
Now so far, this company has been incredibly lucky, in my view, since a government planning inspector, recommended that the dreamland site, should remain as an attraction, but as ever the weak and feeble Conservative Thanet council, ignored this allowing for other uses in the local plan.
It seems that the currently Conservative-controlled council, cannot do enough for developers, you have to ask yourself who our local Tories think they're representing, since a majority of Thanet residents would still like to see Dreamland as a top attraction. The more you think about it the more disturbing it is I personally expect my councillors, to represent my interests and that of the community.
Dreamland was and still is one of the top brand-names, in public entertainment, despite the fact, it seems to have been run into the ground, it is absolutely shocking, that firstly the owners can apparently wreck the site and then the Conservatives can't do enough to assist them.
If the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, cannot operate Dreamland as an amusement park, despite the fact, most people in southern England and further afield would instantly recognise the name, what credence can you give to their alternative plans.
These people aren't stupid, were told that they are spending £250,000 on consultation, now this weekend until 7th May, in presenting two plans, what they are offering is in effect, is what a salesman would call an alternative close, basically do you prefer this plan with housing or do you prefer the other plan with more housing, thus ignoring the real choice which would be keep Dreamland as a major attraction (as per advice from a government planning inspector), or alternatively cram in as much housing and business premises as you can (presumably keeping their investors happy).
As they say it's not over till the fat lady sings, and our friends from Reading, still have to prove, that Dreamland site is not viable as an amusement park.
For the sake of Thanets future, I just hope after the local elections, the council is run by more competent people, and if the Tories win the election, let's just hope they have the good sense to at least change the leadership.
Dreamland's future, is to important and pivotal in the whole character of the town, to be decided just purely on the basis that the current owners can make more money from housing than operating a theme park. That whole argument is a joke, because if planning authorities were to base decisions on that basis, then every farmer in the country, could just plough their fields and plant housing instead.
Anyway I suggest you go along to Dreamland in the next few days, and see who Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company have really been consulting, you or their investors.