Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dreamland amusement park carve up?

Later this week Thanet District council will be proposing a new briefing document for Dreamland and Margate. How astonishing is it that is Thanet District council, have come up with a plan for dreamland, which closely matches, one suggested by the developers Waterbridge.

As far as a planning considerations were concerned for Thanet's most critical site in terms of both character and future prosperity, most of us were still under the misapprehension, that Thanet district council would somehow play the game.

When the great minds of Thanet Council last chewed over this particular problem, they decided to ignore the advice from a government inspector, which had suggested retaining the whole Dreamland site for its traditional use and allow Waterbridge to have a change of use on the site, if they could prove that an amusement park was not economically viable on the site.

I'm sure that Thanet District council, are just being helpful to our friends from Reading, rather than make them go through the motions of presenting their case for a seaside housing estate, and then agreeing with them, to save all that fuss and bother, they would just move the timetable ahead a bit and save all those embarrassing arguments as to whether Waterbridge is profiteering at the expense of Margate Town.

Anyway for those of you who are interested, or have the stomach for the details of this carve up of Margate Town centre, you can see what your Tory councilors are doing, click here for the cabinet agenda for Thursday's meeting, click here to read the report by the head of development services, and click here for the brief (which gives details of not only how dreamland will be decimated or should that be desiccated but also plans to disrupt traffic into Margate and Cliftonville).

Just as a side issue, it seems a rather sad that the save Dreamland campaign, have apparently embraced this nonsense about a heritage theme park, what they have actually agreed to by the looks of it, is a museum of rusty dusty and musty fairground rides. One of the things that used to make Dreamland so exciting was the constant change, this heritage nonsense is almost as exciting as a Thanet district council cabinet meeting.

I bet that the management of Waterbridge, cannot believe their luck in choosing to plough their money into an area with such a helpful local authority.

Incidentally my apologies for not blogging recently, but I have had more important things to do recently, driving over to Ashford for instance, to catch the Simpsons movie in a decent cinema (hopefully it will not be long before we have a new cinema at Westwood), also I had been attempting catch up on Harry Potter, although since my sister told me the end of the last book when I was halfway through, what's the bloody point.

Anyway if I can drag myself back to the keyboard, I will do, I must say I find real life more fantastic than fictional worlds.


  1. I have always found the Carlton at Westgate to be a perfectly comfortable and decent cinema. A little frayed around the edges and without all the peripheral facilities of a big multiplex, but state of the art projection and sound equipment and good seats.

    And unklike the multiplexes, it frequently shows films outside the "blockbuster" or main Hollywood range - including foreign language films.


  2. Thank you Tony for the links: the most informative blogspot on this critical development to Margate's future! My concerns are:
    a. It does not seem to address the Arlington nause (car-park and arcade).
    b. Is it not time to say good-bye to that bl**dy scenic railway and re-site else where?

    c. The space for an all weather attraction seems severely limited.

    d. Too much housing.
    Good points:
    a. re-route traffic around back.
    b. pedestrian use of marine Terrace.

    Interesting point:
    Godden's Gap as an access route off Marine Terrace! What a surprise and yet no-one thought to charge anyone with arson for that most convenient of fires.

  3. As the Scenic Railway is grade II listed getting rid of it, or resiting it, isn't an option.

    This isn't really an informative blog - way off the mark in many ways. It's easy to rant - a rant with some genuine knowledge and insight might have been better.

    Re the arson - did anyone actually have any proof of the culprit?

    Without that, the police tend not to charge people for alleged offences.

  4. Tony, I agree with your conclusion that a bunch of old rustbucket rides will do nothing to attract visitors to Margate. What happened to Save Dreamland's previous exciting and rather bold ideas for the site? Or have they got what they really wanted all along - 'vintage rides' that will be of little interest to anyone except those with a penchant for fairground history (i.e them).

  5. Pray tell us, 9.40 pm why a grade 2 listed structure cannot be re-sited as it is intended to re-site it in Dreamland? It is a structure that can be dismantled and re-assembled, is it not? What other blog-spot gave such good links to this issue?

    A solicitor did 3 years in prison based on probability supplied by an expert (erroneously as it turned out) that the cot deaths of her children were not natural events. I find it strange that arson, when it unfortunately keeps happening to a persons businesses and in addition when it provides an access to a site about to be developed cannot be viewed in the same way and I am sure that actuaries from the Insurance world would be too happy to supply data. I suppose you take the view that there is no coincidence between a fire and demolition of Grade 2 listed frontages that appear a couple of years later on a Council Plan as a proposed pedestrian access?

  6. Any plans floated to resite the Scenic Railway were not official.

    There are laws and national planning policy PPG 15 protecting the structure. There is no reason to move it - it has stood where it is since it was built. Moving it would require all manner of consultation and consents, which there is no reason to give. This would not be for public benefit but commercial gain.

    As for the negative comments regarding vintage rides - that would only be part of the site. There are not many rides left in this country to resite. These are not 'old rustbucket rides'. I suggest you do some research.

    I also suggest that the Save Dreamland Campaign site is read carefully, in order to gain a better understanding of the plans. It's more informative than this one. As for Eastcliff Richard - sad really.Knowing what he was grumping about would be such a good idea. Quite laughable. Still, you don't have to know what you are talking about to blog, do you?

    If you do not like the plans, why not start your own campaign group?

    If you have proof that a felony has been committed then I suggest you lay information with the appropriate authorities.

  7. 'Scenic Railway is grade II listed' Don't you wish it wasn't? So its there forever and ever?
    'Moving it would require all manner of consultation and consents'
    Because something is difficult to do is not an excuse for not doing it. The only people who seem to want to keep it are those with a penchant for living in a museum society and any such society will stagnate.

  8. Actually no I'm delighted it is listed. It represents something of importance to this country's history. 'The only people who want to keep it' etc - you of course have evidence fot this statement, have carried out a major research project into all in this country and others who want to see it retained? You can quote large numbers and their motives? A MORI poll possibly?

    And moving would require a change in the law as there is no sound reason to move it. It isn't in the way of something required for major public benefit, which would be the only thing which could give any grounds for consideration for removal - and that would probably require a major public inquiry at vast cost.

    Thankfully, this nation has thousands of listed buildings and somehow it seems to survive and not stagnate. In fact, to many it makes for a richer environment, one which respects history. They are part, too, of our tourist economy.

  9. Nobody in their right mind is going to spend more than half an hour looking around a load of shabby old carny tut, and that'll only be out of curiosity.

    By the way, that's what's called an 'opinion', which I've arrived at without any kind of research. It might well be sad, but not half as sad as an empty fun park filled with 'vintage rides'.