Ultimatum for Swanage funfair ride

A FUNFAIR ride that has divided local opinion has been given an ultimatum.

A pirate ship style funfair swing in Swanage that has been the centre of controversy saw locals battling it out on social media over whether it was a welcome addition to the Sante Fe fun park as it towered over the other rides.

Dorset Council has now confirmed that planning permission is required for the ride and the owners have been given a deadline of September 2 to apply for permission or remove the ride.

The ride has today (July 4) been removed.

A statement from Swanage Town Council said: “The park operator had understood that the ride would not require planning permission as the property has the benefit of permitted development rights that relate specifically to amusement parks.

“However, following a site visit, the planning department informed the park operator that a planning application was likely to be required.

“One reason for this is because the Santa Fe park is within the boundaries of the Swanage Conservation Area, a legal designation which provides greater restrictions regarding development within the town centre.

“Having reflected on the options available, the park operator has decided to remove the ride, primarily to provide certainty for the business over the critical summer season. An alternative ride will be installed prior to the school holidays.
“There has been a great deal of speculation locally about the role of the Town Council in this matter. The Town Council is the landlord of the park, which is occupied under a long lease.
“At no point has the Town Council been asked to provide approval for the ride under the terms of the lease and the decision by the park operator to remove the ride means that the council now has no requirement to do so.
“The council has been in close contact with the park operator throughout this period and all parties will continue to work together to ensure that the park remains a popular and vibrant seafront attraction for visitors and residents alike.”

A petition was launched to “Save the Pirate Ship at Santa Fe for the betterment of Swanage tourism” which reached 364 signatures.

The petition reads: “For us, residents and loving patrons of Swanage, the new pirate ship at Santa Fe is way more than a simple attraction.

“Santa Fe is part of our identity and a pivotal asset that draws numerous tourists every year. Swanage is a place that heavily relies on tourist inflow for its sustenance. The new pirate ship would plays a significant role in that.

“Regrettably, this unique feature of our park is now under threat.”

The business owner was contacted for comment.


  1. Andy Strivens Reply

    Absolutely disgusted with the way planning law has been twisted. The opinions of local residents should be sought by way of some sort of referendum. The law is supposed to work for the majority not the vocal few.

  2. David Allum Reply

    What a travesty, already removed, I feel for the owners trying to make a living, investing capital to attract money to the town.
    I’m convinced local residents stirred this all up NIMBY syndrome.

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