High Speed Rail in Broxtowe

Mar 19, 2013 by

The recent announcements regarding the route of the proposed High Speed Rail line through Broxtowe (HS2) and the potential station on the Toton sidings site appear to have been met with a mixture of genuine excitement and uncertainty across the local area.

The majority of those who do not physically live near the proposed route, positively welcome the HS2 plans as presented. Although there are mild rumblings about the length of time it is likely to take until the development is approved, let alone completed, most individuals and companies appreciate the potential benefits that HS2 will provide including enhanced national transport links for Broxtowe residents and companies, and genuine opportunities for increased development and investment in the areas around the Toton transport interchange.

However, for those who live near the proposed station and the HS2 route through Broxtowe, two specific concerns have been raised:

– The potential threat of housing developments on green belt sites near Toton sidings (initially shelved after extensive local pressure but now back on the table for consideration)

– The potential impact from noise and disruption to those living along the proposed route including areas of Nuthall, Trowell and Strelley village. Many of these areas have already been affected by the recent M1 widening / upgrade and are concerned that HS2 could continue to blight their property prices and lives for decades.

The key issue seems to be the challenge of planning now for a project that will not even begin construction for 15 years or more. It is therefore critical that those in a position to agree on such things (our borough and county councils with the full support of our local MP for example) agree a series of common sense rules now that are then communicated widely across Broxtowe and form the basis for the decision making over the coming years. Key points to agree could include:

1. Short term decisions on housing developments should not be rushed through that could compromise the potential for the Toton transport interchange site in future decades (eg don’t allow hundreds of houses to be built on an area that could, in 20 years time, offer a prime location for international businesses offering high value jobs to the local community)

2. Residents whose property is potentially affected by the proposed route deserve regular, clear and accurate communication from those directly responsible for delivering the HS2 project. All those that are directly affected by the route, especially those undergoing compulsory purchase, should receive full and appropriate compensation.

HS2 and the Toton interchange are exciting developments that will, on balance, bring great benefit to the Broxtowe area. However, it is beholden on all those involved to focus on the potential longer term benefits and impacts as critical decisions are made in the coming months that could affect all of us for many decades to come. Broxtowe Blue urges all political parties to put party politics to one side, and work on this to make Broxtowe a better place to live.

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