HS2 – investing in Broxtowe
This is a short newsletter following today’s news that the Government plans to go ahead with the High Speed 2 rail project, with a line to Leeds which will include a station at Toton Sidings. In fact, the “station” is an East Midlands hub, designed to serve the area on completion of the line in around 2037.
HS2 is a massive investment in the future of the country (some £33 billion) and also welcome investment in the East Midlands and in particular, Broxtowe.
The full plans and explanations can be viewed on the Department of Transport web site here.
Using Toton Sidings makes a great deal of sense – it is a large brown field site, not too far from the M1 with the tram terminus nearby. This is a great opportunity, not just for passengers in the constituency to have a high speed link to London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds but also provides huge opportunities to raise freight capacity and for jobs and business.
Obviously, there will be considerable concerns about whether these proposals will make the Green Belt land between Toton and Stapleford more vulnerable to the plans to build 750 houses, and a hotel, on the site just above the Sidings.
In my view, given the time scale and the real opportunities HS2 brings for business, it is imperative that Broxtowe Borough Council takes a responsible and long term view of the implications and opportunities HS2 brings to the Toton and Stapleford area and to the rest of Broxtowe as a whole.
I believe Broxtowe Borough Council has, for too long, regarded “development” as building hundreds of houses, when in fact development is far more than that.
If (and it’s worth remembering that today’s plans are now open to considerable public consultation), Toton Sidings is to be the East Midlands hub, then we need to make sure there is sound connection to the tram, which may include a further link into Erewash. We need to make sure there is good access to the A52 and the M1 and we need to continue to protect the open space the Green Belt land provides.
What we certainly don’t want is a rush to build 750 houses in the next few years, which may well block the potential HS2 at Toton Sidings can deliver.
I have already raised all the above points with the Transport Secretary and have spoken at length this morning to Jessica Lee, who is the MP for Erewash.
So in short, this a very good news day for Broxtowe – with a great deal of thought and planning ahead to ensure we make the most of this excellent opportunity.
My usual email newsletter will be out in the next few days, until then, as ever,
Anna Soubry MP