Thanet District Council has gone against the recommendations of its planning officers to give the amusement park’s owner – and Margate’s tourism economy – a vital shot in the arm. Dreamland can continuing dreaming.
The owners of Dreamland Margate have celebrated after a dramatic planning U-turn gave it the green light to build a new hotel next to the amusement park.
Planning officers at Thanet District Council had recommend that Margate Estates’ plans to build a six- storey, 124-bedroom ‘lifestyle’ hotel on the resort’s seafront be rejected.
But at a planning committee meeting last week, councillors voted unanimously to give the development the go-ahead.
Aidan de Brunner, from Margate Estates, said: “The new seafront hotel will create over 200 local jobs and help turn Margate from a day-tripping market to multi-night stay.
“We can now build on recent improvements and continue working on a long-term plan to turn Margate into an all-year round destination. Putting bed-stock of sufficient quality and size back in to the town is an absolutely vital building block.
“We’d like to thank the 400 local residents that supported our scheme – this decision shows that getting involved can make a difference.
“Much remains to be done of course but councillors have sent a powerful message that they want to maintain momentum and secure Margate’s revival.
“Exciting things are happening and we look forward to taking this next step together.”
As well as its guest rooms,
the Sea View Hotel will feature a 250-capacity rooftop bar offering views across Margate and Dreamland, a gym, meeting rooms, restaurants and shops.
Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kemsley said:“We are delighted that these plans have been approved with the unanimous support of councillors on the planning committee.
“The new hotel will pro- vide much needed extra accommodation for Dream- land guests,and the town;we look forward to welcoming more guests, more overnight visitors,and more Dreamland ‘dreamers’ to Margate with open arms.”
The Thanet District Council planning committee meeting had been told about an incident last year when an 800-strong film crew shooting on location at Dreamland had difficulty finding enough accommodation.
Committee vice-chair Councillor Carol Messenger, who chaired the meeting, said that although the new hotel would not take that many guests, it would go “some way” towards providing the rooms the resort needs.
She explained her councillors felt the benefits of the scheme outweighed any obstruction to views of Dreamland’s historic cinema building listed by the planning officers.
Messenger told local media:“They felt the impact of the public opinion and economic growth potential outweighed the concerns of the impact of views to the building.
“It’s going to bring a number of jobs to the area and have a knock on effect on the area.”