One definition of optimism is ‘A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation’. There was much optimism on display at the talk given by John Delaney (Head of Built Environment) and Phillip Horsfield (Head of Legal Services), both from Broxtowe Borough Council. The audience at John Clifford School enjoyed a frank, respectful and pretty positive interchange.
It soon emerged that everything on the drawing board and beyond was being considered under a cloud of financial constraints, many schemes under consideration being rendered impossible by the situation. However, that did not hinder a list of positive outcomes, some revealed exclusively at the meeting, the main one being that the newly restored exterior of St John’s church will be uplit, a very pleasing sight for people arriving by tram (and any other transport for that matter).
John followed the introduction with an estimated timetable for works over the next few months, which included:
- Tram work complete March
- Bus/tram interchange work start March, and therefore bus station will close
- Bus terminus relocating to Humber Road/Regent Street while the bus station is closed
- Taxi rank will move to Church Street
- Secure cycle hub and extra car parking will be provided at Beeston train station, followed up later with replacement of station steps and possibility of lift access to the platforms
- Old Beeston Market will be cleared
- Final tenant will move in to new square development in April
- Temporary car parking facilities to be built on Fire station site in April
- The Built Environment students at University of Nottingham have been designing their vision for Phase 2 (the plot where the old fire station stood and current bus station stands and adjoining vacant areas) and there will be an exhibition of their work in June
- Key decisions on Phase 2 after May 2015
- Trams should be running by August
All along, the Council representatives encouraged for input from the community. They want to mould outcomes in line with people’s views. The poll conducted last year has informed spending last year (eg improvements to shop fronts and special events). It was clear that Beeston town centre is attracting a lot of interest from developers, partly because of the proximity of the park-and-ride car park (at Bardill’s) only a few minutes away by tram. Some items were discussed during an extensive question and answer period, but deemed impossible due to funding constraints:
- A living wall or mural on the ugly works access wall to the Square on Station Road
- Upgrade to the Square podium
- Leaving Phase 2 as open space
- Underground parking
- Underground tram
Phillip outlined eloquently the impossibility of attracting retailers here if they do not see for themselves the correct profile of potential customers. We were left with the clear impression at the end of the meeting that despite lack of funds and the difficulties of the last few years, our area is changing for the better and attracting interesting prospects for further development.
The audience, Civic Society members and Beeston residents were encouraged to communicate via the Council Offices address or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Attwood, Executive Committee
Beeston and District Civic Society