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Trowers & Hamlins advises on Thanet District Council’s successful Dreamland appeal

Trowers & Hamlins advises on Thanet District Council’s successful Dreamland appeal

Trowers & Hamlins is delighted to announce that its client, Thanet District Council, has successfully defended its Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) decision in the Court of Appeal, following its earlier success this year in the High Court.  The appeal challenged the Secretary of State's decision to approve the CPO for the purchase of the lands comprising the site of the former Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate.

The iconic Dreamland site, which includes a number of Grade II and II* listed buildings, is to be redeveloped as a Heritage Amusement Park.  The regeneration project will ensure the protection and maintenance of the listed buildings and heritage assets, and is intended to act as a catalyst for the much needed regeneration of the local area.  Upwards of £11 million of public funding has been earmarked to regenerate the lands, the redevelopment of which will help attract additional investment to the local area. 

In August 2012 Thanet District Council received the Secretary of State's approval for the CPO of the Dreamland amusement park site in Margate.  The Order was confirmed without any modifications and the objectors' costs applications refused.  Significant funding had been secured by the Council and The Dreamland Trust to develop the site as an amusement park, as well as to restore the important listed structures within the park, which include a 1930s art-deco cinema and the UK's oldest wooden rollercoaster.  It was not possible to agree a transfer of the site from the owners and so to bring forward much needed regeneration for Margate, the Council opted to promote a CPO, resulting in a public inquiry in early 2012 and eventually the legal challenge which has been defeated in the High Court and now in the Court of Appeal. 

Trowers & Hamlins advised Thanet District Council throughout the initial Inquiry into the CPO in 2012 and was also instructed to represent and advise the Council on the subsequent appeal.

Lucy James, the partner leading on the appeal, commented:  "We are absolutely delighted with the Court of Appeal's decision, which robustly disposed of the appeal.  As the Court of Appeal recognised in the lead judgment, Margate is in urgent need of regeneration and the proposed heritage amusement park is a key feature of the regeneration project, which our client has fought hard to make a reality.

"It was our pleasure to have worked with a Council which has shown great resilience and determination in pursuing this important project and has now had its approach vindicated by the Court of Appeal's judgment.  We wish them and The Dreamland Trust every future success with this project which they are now one step closer to delivering."