The Square Meeting: Some Thoughts.

It’s near-impossible to write a conclusive write-up of last week’s meeting: there were so many issues discussed and few absolute conclusions, but if you really want, we have the complete meeting on video here: to peruse if you fancy. Cheers to James from web-wizards HexProductions for filming.

A few points did stand out. The whole concept of Beeston redevelopment is frustrated not by the politicians, not by the developers and not even by NET, but rather the complex nature of who actually owns what. NET have been given a pretty much free license to get the tram in to schedule, hence the wide expanses of land they have temporary permission ownership of which makes a coherent plan impossible. An audience member pointed out that this was hardly democracy, and I can see her point. Deputy Leader of the council, Cllr. Pat Lally, preferred to see the issue with pragmatism rather than despair: all parties were working to the best of their abilities within the constraints applicable to them. Hmmm. I’m not so sure, and I didn’t see a huge amount of concordance with this opinion from the audience.

L-R James Greenway (Henry Boot); John Delaney (Head of Built Environment, Broxtowe Borough Council); Me; Cllr Barber (Chair, Development Control). Copyright Lewis Stainer.

A quick vote at the end of the meeting was taken on the question: Do you feel more confident about the future of Beeston now than you did at the start of the meeting? Very few hands were raised. We have an interesting few weeks / months ahead.

A few minor points. We are losing the clock rather than being treated to a working one. The reason is quite simple: Henry Boot are worried that they’ll get a deluge of calls should it ever prove to be less than reliable. This wasn’t swallowed by many: surely technology could provide a robust model. Apparently not. Stumpy, which my colleague on The Beestonian Tamar researched and wrote about here: remains in it’s present spot, due to it not quite falling into the jurisdiction of Henry Boot. I’ve long been a fan of Stumpy, or, to be give him his correct name, Water Head; while the Beeston Express have long campaigned to have him reduced to rubble. A quick vote suggested that you too value our quirky, if incongruous sculpture. However, eventually it would be good to see Stumpy relocated to a more sympathetic spot: a churchyard, in water, perhaps; I’m sure Sheila at The Beeston Express would find this a suitable compromise.

If you do want to know more about the meeting, feel free to get in touch with myself. If you want to talk to Henry Boot directly, Director James Greenway has asked me to publish his direct email where he’ll be happy to engage with you: . The plans have now been formally submitted to the council. I’ll report more when I get it.


I’d like to thank everyone who attended and those who made it possible: the panel, John Clifford School, James Hall, Lewis Stainer and Tamar Feast for getting some last-minute printing sorted. Cheers. I now fancy running a hustings for the County Council Elections; though I’ll need some training in how to properly run these things. Ah well, time to contact the professionals:


I mentioned just under a year ago how myself and Rex Walker from CP Walker had been given a credit in a short film by a local filmmaker after I ran a piece asking for a house to film in, and Rex provided a un-tenanted property. Well, the same producer, Steve Deery of Pondweed Productions has had his new short feature short-listed for an award; he’s made it to the second round and if you go and have a watch of it, you’ll help him to the prize. So pop over to and give it a go.



12 thoughts on “The Square Meeting: Some Thoughts.

  1. Steve Austin says:

    Very useful meeting which clarified lots of issues about the redevelopment of the area. I wrote a piece on the meeting which is posted on Bramcote Today at

  2. Tom Tedds says:

    A copy of an e-mail sent to Henry Boot …Sir
    I read with interest the recent communication from The Beestionian blog about the redevelopement of Beeston Square. Henry Boot were cast as Clock facility removers, the reason given that you didn’t want to be associated with any reliabity issues. The solution in my view is simplicity itself ! give the job of supply and maintenance to one of Beestons oldest and most experienced Clock restorers. Andrew McCulloch Ltd. ( good cheap advert for them and a useful facility. A cheaper version perhaps to utilise the digital clock on the tramway itself. Hope to have provided a little light relief in your day.

  3. Steve Barber says:

    I was at a tram meeting in Westminster yesterday and afterwards managed some brief words with a couple of developers present, including the firm who did a lot of the work around Media City in Manchester and have a smaller development site near Midland station in Nottingham. The feeling is that at the moment there are very few interested tenants, either in retail or commerce who may be interested in Beeston Square. However, once the economy recovers there probably will be more of a a scramble.

    It may well be better to bide time at the moment and wait for interest to develop. It was also felt that once the tram lines actually appear and it becomes clear that we mean business there may be scope for more hope.

  4. Jim Dunn says:

    Thanks for the link to the film – very impressive and deserves to do well in the competition. I’ve added the link to a Facebook site for people doing a film making course with the OU. My friend was at the Beeston Square meeting and says that it left him feeling a bit flat and that Sheila Eden was an irritation with her “Stump” obsession. I, like yourself, am a Stump fan – perhaps we should start a “Save the Stump” campaign. Jim Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:33:49 +0000 To:

  5. David says:

    We need a save the stump. The council spent 25,000 of our hard earned pounds on a water feature, and then due to H&S concerns killed off the water. A water driven piece of art without water is a little bland. We should argue for re-instatement of water and our community purchased piece of art.

  6. The issue that sticks in my mind is that the shrinking of the retail sector has affected the ability to let the units. Perhaps the car park/fire station/ bus station complex would be perfect for a Cornerhouse style development?

    Currently, the nearest multiplex for Beestonians is the (rather-tired) Showcase, and the restaurants and bowling alley nearby show that there is a market for leisure – so why should we have to travel if we can host it in our own town?

    By the way, does Sheila Eden really think that she speaks for all of us in her hatred of Stumpy? Her performance on the night suggested that was the case (which it clearly is not – but even then she wouldn’t back down).

    • beestonia says:

      Yep, that’s an issue I tried to get answered. Retail is dying; and who wants to set up next to a Goliath Tesco. A greater deal more thought needs to be put towards considering space: retail to housing, civic, service or entertainment.

      • FreddyMash says:

        So true and my main point when opposing the Tesco in the public meetings. What shops will want to come in new to Beeston and compete with that place. I recall many of the decision makers at the time suggesting Tesco would actually support small shops and the retail sector. The current situation in Beeston finally ends this debate.

    • David says:

      The idea of leisure facility seems good – Beeston does not do enough to capture the large student population both on campus and in surrounding areas, apart the retail giants, and the specialist retailers.

  7. […] are, of course, waiting to see the plans from Henry Boot for The Square. Beestonia’s blog reports that these have been submitted to the Council. They haven’t appeared yet on their […]

  8. Joan says:

    Re “An audience member pointed out that this was hardly democracy, and I can see her point.”

    Well I can’t – We know there are some people in Beeston who do not want the tram and they were very well represented at the meeting but no issue has been more hotly debated in local election campaigns than the tram project. The tram project has been the subject of a public inquiry and seemingly endless tests of public opinion including an NOP poll. This major construction project is now finally at last underway after more than a decade of debate. public support and planning. Indeed, the problems that Henry Boot has experienced is in part because so much time has been allowed for all parties to have their say. I am impressed that during the construction phase that the contractors appear to be doing everything reasonably possible to accommodate people’s wishes.

  9. If you do want to know more about the meeting, feel free to get in touch with myself. If you want to talk to Henry Boot directly, Director James Greenway has asked me to publish his direct email where he’ll be happy to engage with you: . The plans have now been formally submitted to the council. I’ll report more when I get it.

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