Adrian Hirst has sent us recent correspondence he has had regarding parking at Beeston Station:
From: Adrian Hirst To: Matthew Andrews, Transport Focus
Thanks for the pre-Xmas update and hope Santa has met all your expectations.
Please find appended my preparatory notes that I have pre-notified to Broxtowe for their consideration ahead of the proposed meeting as per my last email 11/12/15. Hopefully this will help as part of the ongoing grass roots support for the more broad based assistance by Transport Focus. I have always had considerable respect and admiration for both the staff at Broxtowe and Network Rail and sincerely hope that by everyone diligently working through all the issues it will soon be possible to amicably resolve the ongoing concerns of my local community.
Generally I am more comfortable taking everything one step at a time and the current plan is to focus on carefully reviewing feedback from Broxtowe. I am not too concerned about the Operational Land Issue as from what I hear and read everything seems very ambiguous with respect to strictly orthodox interpretations of outdated Beeching Covenants compared to the more sensible approach on the neighbouring Derwent Valley Line. Patrick McLoughlin, Derbyshire County Council, and the Derby based Network Rail Team have been inspirational in the way they cheerfully and competently sorted out all these sorts of issues with respect to a Bypass, Supermarket, and Station Car Park at Matlock etc. If after 20 years of minimal progress the orthodox dogmatists are adamant there are still significant legal obstacles to be overcome locally then maybe it is time for My Local MP and the ORR to sponsor an Order in Parliament to remove any outdated Beeching Era Constraints from the Statute Book.
It would appear that Network Rail are also generally unconcerned about this issue :-
We have considered a variety of options for the development of the ‘Old Goods Yard’. Our
car park team have investigated the viability of installing car parking facilities at this site.
Unfortunately it was not considered a commercially viable solution although some small
scale additional car parking is being investigated. We will however continue to review the
various options in the course of bringing the site forward for development.
The principal unanswered question here is similar to that directed at Broxtowe. Are they seeking to try and re-allocate their Section 106 Commitments to provide minimal new parking spaces for the Midland Mainline Franchise by utilising Community Funding primarily intended to benefit the folks in any new housing rather than more diligently following ORR Guidlines? Also it is quite depressing from a multi agency team working perspective to learn from John Delaney that Network Rail and Broxtowe do not appear to have liaised for around 12 months on developing a more co-ordinated overall plan. His vision for an enlarged cycle hub in particular would be quickly achievable by simply utilising the cost savings from an improved dialogue on important local public transport issues.
In conclusion, happy to help in any way or equally to patiently hold back for a while if you feel this would help maximise the benefits of your specialist skills and knowledge.
From Adrian Hirst to John Delaney, Broxtowe Borough Council with a copy to Tom Harding, Office Manager for Anna Soubry MP:
Hope you have had a good Xmas and New Year etc.
One of my new year resolutions was to review all the previous documentation for the meeting Tom Harding kindly scheduled in for us once all the festivities were over. As a result of this I have prioritised the following points to complement the initial emails that were exchanged before Xmas:-
Firstly, I believe I am clear that the majority of the proposed sixty new railway parking places are broadly based on replicating the current arrangements under the flyover on the other side of the station. I appreciate that little work would be involved in re-commissioning existing parking facilities that have been dormant whilst the overall plan for the New Business Park is agreed. Where I am unclear is the arrangements with the Developer to release this land. My earlier email requested details of the Section 106 Transfer Value. The reason I was so specific is that the section 106 negotiations between Broxtowe and the Developer were directly referenced in correspondence on my behalf by Anna Soubry to Network Rail and this premise was not challenged by Milan Radulovic, Steffan Saunders, and Ryan Dawson who were all consulted on this. Your appended email only makes reference to: – ‘at no cost to the Council’. I acknowledge that you are committed to giving a more detailed explanation on this point following consultation with the Planning Dept.
Secondly, I have deliberately referred to the ‘proposed transfer’ because I am concerned that Network Rail etc may be being over confident in representing Broxtowe’s proposals as a done deal . My concerns primarily relate to various reports, including your own, that the developer who signed up to all this has jumped ship and also issues related to the validity of any associated Section 106 agreement.
Thirdly, I wish to make representations on the vagueries of doing deals with private developers compared to fast tracking the Old Goods Yard Option which is based on publicly owned railway land. The first of the two links below shows the Old Goods Yard in its heyday and the second confirms that it has generally been abandoned and left derelict for more than 20 years.
I believe it is important to re-iterate that this is now publicly owned land and that Network Rail is a 100% nationalised public utility. Therefore, if both Network Rail and Broxtowe are answerable to Parliament and particularly our Local MP then logically the most viable way forward at the current time would be to prioritise this option by improved multi-agency working? This alternative approach would be based on re-allocating surplus railway land in accordance with established ORR Guidelines without utilising any section 106 funds that are primarily intended for improving community cohesion and the overall quality of life of the residents in the proposed new housing developments.
In conclusion, I welcome your admirable vision and passion for developing these improved facilities and hope you find these notes helpful in ensuring that you are fully briefed on my overall perspective prior to firming up on a date for the meeting.
John Delaney replied:
Just a couple of points from me.
The proposed additional (60 space) car park on the south side of the station will be provided by the Beeston Business Park developer at no cost to the Council. However, this does hinge on the development actually taking place. As you may be aware the site has another new owner and things are again a little uncertain.
Network Rail have separate plans to eventually sell the former Blue Circle cement sidings site, and car parking may form part of this development. We last heard from them about a year ago, but have heard nothing more recently.
My eventual vision for the station would be around 100 car parking spaces and a 50-100 space cycle hub where our present small car park/cycle hub is located
John Delaney BSc (Hons) DIS CEng MICE
Head of Property Services
Broxtowe Borough Council
Housing, Leisure & Property Services
Council Offices, Foster Avenue
Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB