By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
The rejection of a £40m bid to open a new road and unlock major development in Toton has been described as “frustrating”.
Nottinghamshire County Council had submitted the bid to Government as part of the Levelling Up Fund.
However, an announcement on Wednesday (January 18) confirmed the bid had not been successful.
It was one of a string of unsuccessful Nottinghamshire bids, including £20m in rejected cash to transform the former Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.
The Toton link road would unlock major new development around Toton and Chetwynd Barracks, helping to create thousands of jobs and homes.
It would also open space to create a new railway station promised by the Government after earlier high speed HS2 route plans were moved from Toton to East Midlands Parkway.
Councillor Ben Bradley MP (Con), the county council’s leader, expressed his sadness at the bid not being accepted but said the road can still be built.
He also revealed the bid was “shortlisted but wasn’t chosen” by ministers and confirmed the council will receive feedback on why it was rejected.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It’s frustrating. We will get feedback about exactly why that is.
“The Toton link road is really important to our wider projects, including opening up the sites for development, the train station and all the other things we want to do down there.
“It is frustrating but, equally, we’ve got levers to deliver it one way or another – it’s a matter of when and who pays for it as opposed to whether it happens.
“We’ll get the feedback, we’ll see if it’s worth another bid into the next round of the Levelling Up Fund, or we have options to take it forward through the development company or the new combined authority.
“Perhaps it’s delayed slightly rather than gone but we’ll wait for the feedback to see what we do next.”
The county council confirmed last summer that work on the road could have started in 2024 if the £40m bid was successful.
The authority said Toton would become a “hotspot for investment” under the plans and bring development space three times the size of London’s Olympic Park.
The road would potentially connect the A52 with Toton Lane, near Bardills Island, to bring forward the long-awaited plans.
It follows the East Midlands Development Corporation being given £1m annually from Whitehall to draw up long-term planning for the site.
The funding will help to find a new life for the Chetwynd Barracks site, in Swiney Way, which is scheduled to close in 2024.
The army barracks could host as many as 4,500 homes, employment space and the major transport hub – which was initially due to host HS2.