Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Overview & Scrutiny Panel
Thursday, 15th August, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Items
No. Item

181.

Apologies for Absence

182.

Declaration of Interests pdf icon PDF 87 KB

183.

Overview & Scrutiny Panel call-in of Cabinet Decision - Proposal for the disposal of the Dreamland freehold pdf icon PDF 76 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The following members of the public spoke under scrutiny procedure rules for public speaking:

     

    Mr Dan Hind;

    Mr David Collard;

    Mr Steve Villette.

     

    Councillor Bayford, Leader of Council responded to the comments made and questions that were raised by the public speakers.

     

    Councillor Duckworth and Councillor Rawf asked questions under Council Procedure Rule 20.1 and the Leader responded.

     

    The Chairman reminded Members the purpose of the meeting that it was to consider the call-in of a Cabinet decision and that the grounds for call-in were that Members were seeking clarification from Cabinet on the following:

     

    1. The need to identify the range of options considered; specifically this being the need for Cabinet to explain why they have taken the decision to dispose of the asset now, rather than retaining it.

     

    Members then asked questions and made comments as follows:

     

    • Agreement was needed from the funders to remove ongoing grant obligations. Did this mean that some of the grants would need to be paid back by the Council?
    • Had TDC consider the packaging up of the site into separate entities as there had been interest in different parts of the park from Ace Cafe, Picturehouse, and Carters Steam Fair?
    • Why was a restricted period of only 10 years given within the sale of the freehold for housing on the site, instead of no housing at all in line with the local plan policy for Dreamland?
    • If a period had to be given, or not, for no housing on the site, TDC should, in the event of housing being granted in the future, require a percentage of the sales to be paid to TDC as part of the contract of sale, to ensure full value to the Council Tax payer;
    • Can a claw back be included as it would not be an inducement but rather a dis-incentive to develop housing on the site?
    • As part of the DCO, the Council made the argument that the site is not suitable for housing as it was contaminated land and was therefore only going to be for leisure use only. Had that view changed?
    • What if any due diligence has been done on the owners and employees of SHL to see if they have a sufficient track record to own and successfully operate a theme park?
    • The Head of Asset Management was due to leave TDC, were the Cabinet members confident that this was the right time to be making such a decision, and were they confident that TDC will have the expertise needed in-house during this process?

     

    • Many residents would be concerned that the 10 year restriction was not long enough to reassure residents that the site would continue to be managed as a leisure facility. The decision needed to include the 25 year restriction on housing development.
    • The Council made a brave decision to purchase the site. Local authorities did not have the money to invest and run amusement parks. TDC should not run the Dreamland as only a private investor was best suited  ...  view the full minutes text for item 183.