The Pleasurama site on Ramsgate seafront will be in use this Summer after 20 years of laying empty.
The site has been unused since a blaze on the evening of May 25 -going into May 26-1998, which devastated everything on the site, including the listed railway, the amusement arcade, cafe/restaurant; bingo hall and associated offices.
In January 2004 planning permission was granted for a 60-bed hotel, 107 residential apartments, leisure facilities and retail but despite the ongoing saga of changing companies and contract buy-outs work is yet to start in earnest.
But this Summer will see family amusements on site, part of the hoardings removed and Heras fencing – temporary fencing – used to secure the site at night but taken down during the day – opening up the area for the first time in over a decade.
Last month part of the site was dug out in preparation for the fair and now rides are beginning to arrive.
The fairground will be free entry with rides costing from £2.
Tokens will be on sale at £1.20 with 10 tokens for £10. Attraction will include dodgems, Funhouse, children’s rides, Hook a Duck and much more.
The opening date is due to be announced soon but is expected to be in time for the school Summer holidays.
The fair has been arranged via businessman Jeremy Godden. A temporary change of use planning application has been submitted to Thanet council by Blueberry Homes. Land Registry still lists the site owner as Cardy Ramsgate – now called Ramsgate Development Company – with the lender as offshore Mintal Group.
The application says five jobs will be created and adds: “The intended operating hours would be 11am to 10pm on a seven day basis, through the summer/autumn months. These operating hours could possibly reduce through September and October, outside of the school holidays.”
The application asks for the temporary use to run until November.
Some local traders say it is good news for the seafront. Kandy Jones, who runs Topps café, said: “It will bring people to the seafront and hopefully will be awesome.”
However another trader said they feared the noise would drive away seafront custom, adding: “We have had no consultation or opportunity to comment as local traders on the change of use.
“We feel very strongly about promoting and bringing people to Ramsgate both to visit and live and accept that Bank Holiday fun fairs are part of the holiday celebrations but to discover this fair is staying for the duration is quite shocking. In fact, when we have discussed with local people that the fair will be there for this length of time their reaction is that they will stay away as the cost and noise will be too much.
“We are also concerned about the lack of facilities for such an event – one toilet block is closed for maintenance and even if the work gets done in time the other toilet block is usually closed by 10pm.”
There will be market stalls available at weekends for local traders . These will be available for free to any registered charity. To apply please email firstname.lastname@example.org with reference Market Ramsgate. Limited spaces available.
Each weekend there will be a different street foodtrader. To apply email email@example.com with reference Street Food Ramsgate.
Find the timeline here: Pleasurama: 20 year anniversary since site destroyed in blaze