Blakeney Estates Ltd (Mr O Doyle) has served notice in the local press that the proprietor intends to apply for planning permission to construct 15 dwellings on the 2.5-acre paddock between nos. 21 to 41 Church End and the golf course, demolishing the existing property of 21 Church End to provide access.This will be the developer’s fourth attempt in the last ten years to build on the site, all previous applications having been refused and the subsequent appeals dismissed.
The paddock is one of the few remaining green spaces in the old village, and is separated from the golf course and its housing by a popular public footpath running from Manor Road to The Branston Way.
This developer has a long history of back land development all over Biddenham.Many residents will be unaware of the extent of this, as the properties are often not easily visible from the public highway.Unfortunately, the outcome has been to obliterate many of Biddenham’s remaining green spaces, as well as having knock-on effects on the routes of underground water courses.
When the formal application is submitted, the society will once again be objecting to the development, and we urge residents to do likewise. Tony Wood, Chairman
The formal planning application has now been received. The planning reference is 19/01350/MAF and the closing date for comments is 23 July 2019. The full plans may be viewed by following the instructions below.
Network Rail (Wednesday, 29 May) announced that the Bromham Road bridge in Bedfordshire would fully close to vehicles as work continues as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.
From Monday, 24 June, work will continue to divert utilities and services away from the bridge in preparation for the structure to be demolished and reconstructed at a raised height. This work is vital to provide a safe distance for the overhead line equipment passing beneath, enabling the line between Bedford, Kettering and Corby to be electrified as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.
To allow this work to take place safely, Bromham Road will be fully closed to vehicles until Spring 2020. During this time, a diversionary route via the A6 and Clapham Road will be in place. This will be clearly sign-posted. A temporary bridge will maintain access for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists.
Network Rail and Bedford Borough Council are working together to keep disruption to a minimum whilst the road is closed.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Next month, Network Rail will continue with work to Bromham Road bridge as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.
“To allow this work to take place safely, a full road closure will be in place, as well as a clearly signposted diversionary route. We do understand that this will impact on motorists and we would like to thank all those affected for their patience whilst this takes place.”
reproduced with kind permission of: Media Relations Executive Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)
Five bedroom contemporary house proposed for site of former Biddenham sewage pumping station:
Surprised that Biddenham has a defunct sewage pumping station? Although in a popular spot, few will have noticed it as nature has virtually reclaimed the territory.
First question – where is it? Just off Bromham Road, by the bridge, close to the kissing gate entrance to the river valley park, and behind the heritage trail notice board and the small ‘fishermen’s car park’. Despite being within the flood plain, many would see this as a highly desirable spot for a house, but to approve the application would indeed be a travesty.
There are no existing properties on the south side of this lengthy section of Bromham Road. and once off the road the walker is surrounded on all sides by delightful open countryside and the panorama of the river valley. The area is of significant heritage and archaeological interest, as emphasised by its inclusion on the Biddenham Heritage Trail which passes along the western boundary of the site, and the proximity of the historic Bromham Bridge. A new property in such an outstanding area of amenity would be a visual aberration, and anathema to the rural setting. Access from the site is extremely dangerous, producing a major blind spot for all traffic travelling east from the bridge. The society is therefore recommending rejection.
To view plans: go to www.bedford.gov.uk/searchplans and click the link ‘To view and comment on planning applications’. Enter the planning application number 18/03253/FUL and click Search – Documents – View associated documents.
To submit comments: register on the above site and submit on the internet, or send by e-mail as a pdf attachment to email@example.com quoting the reference and your full name and address.
Gold Lane developer back with 160 dwellings proposal
Having failed in his plans to construct 250 dwellings on farmland west of Gold Lane, the developer has now returned with new proposals for 160 properties, albeit on a reduced site in the north-east corner. This new proposal appears to be compliant with the emerging Bedford Borough Council’s draft Local Plan, so if this is also to be defeated it will require another concerted effort by village residents submitting a substantial number of individual objections to complement those from ourselves, the parish council and other formal consultees of the authority. The parish council will shortly be circulating a leaflet urging all residents to submit their own objections to this new proposal. This can, however, be done immediately by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the planning reference 18/03100/MAO. Be sure to include your postal address. There is no need to go into your reasons for objecting; a short sentence or two will suffice. The planning authority is already well aware of the village’s view on developing this tract of land, and the important aspect now is to demonstrate this in volume terms. The closing date for objections is 30th January 2019. To view the complete application Go to www.bedford.gov.uk/searchplans/p
1. Click on the link TO VIEW AND COMMENT ON PLANNING APPLICATIONS
2. Type in 18/03100/MAO and click on the Search button.
3. For the plans click on Documents followed by View Associated documents
4. A contents list and all the relevant plans will be shown. The plans have a measuring tool attached, please refer to the How to Guides www.bedford.gov.uk/searchplans for guidance
Tony Wood Chairman
DEVELOPER PLANS 300 HOUSES TO GRAB MOST OF THE FARMLAND WEST OF GOLD LANE
On 31st October 2017 a meeting was held between interested parties and the proposed developers of a modest area of farmland west of Gold Lane bounded by Gold Lane to the east, Bromham Road to the north and Duck End Lane to the south, on which the local authority had suggested 160 dwellings would be appropriate. Those attending included local councillors, the Parish Council and Friends of Biddenham Pond as well as the Biddenham Society. The developers Curtin and Co. were accompanied by a representative from Lioncourt Strategic Land.
The Biddenham representatives were astonished instead to be confronted with a plan for 300 houses covering an area nearly four times that provisionally suggested by the local authority as appropriate. Houses would completely surround Duck End Lane as far south as the village pond, and extend west to the footpath between the church and the Bromham bypass. Whilst the developers insisted the plans presented were only ‘Work in progress’ it was very clear that any adverse views expressed would make no difference to the overall size of the scheme proposed.
The developer’s tactics were seen by all present as a flagrant attempt to grab most of our remaining open space for the pecuniary gain of themselves and the landowners, and without any regard for the effects on the village and its residents. Our unanimous opposition was made clear, and in a subsequent private discussion the next course of action to be taken to prevent the proposed development was decided.
LAVENDER LODGE SITE DEVELOPMENT THREATENS AMBIENCE OF THE VILLAGE CENTRE
An application (18/02589/FUL) has been submitted to construct a two storey property and garage on the site immediately to the west of Lavender Lodge, Main Road, behind the war memorial with access to the road across the wide grass verge.
The initial impression is that such a development will detract from the ambience of this important part of the village, surrounded as it is with a number of historic and listed buildings. The application will be discussed at the Biddenham Society’s AGM and Lunch on 4th November 2018. Closing date for responses is 14th November 2018.
Application 18/01831/FUL to construct a property on a narrow plot between Baulk House and 64 Bromham Road has been opposed by the society. Baulk House is grade 2 listed and in opposing the application the society has drawn the attention of the planning authority to a recent publication by Historic England
which sets out the factors to be taken into account when a new build property is to be sited close to a listed building.
The society lists several reasons why the setting of the listed Baulk House would be compromised by the proposal, as well as criticising some poorly presented aspects of the application which fail to illustrate the effects of the new build on various views of, and across, the property.
Update: 1 September 2017 After due consideration, and despite widespread objections, the planning committee approved this application following adjustments to the height and nature of the front boundary. It is also regrettable that, when considering applications in Biddenham for demolition and replacement with larger properties, officers now regularly cite the existence of previously approved large developments in Main Road and Biddenham Turn as justification, even though ‘precedence’ is not recognised in local planning law
Planning application 17/01738/FUL
seeks approval to demolish the existing property at 8 Main Road and replace it with a new dwelling of substantial size and contemporary design.
The replacement would have three floors against the two at present, with a prominent double depth crown roof and a footprint three and a half times the existing.
The architectural style and mass are not replicated in other properties on Main Road, which is more typified by single houses of varying character which do not detract from their surroundings.
The roadside boundary of the site fronts the Biddenham Conservation area, and any development will therefore have a significant impact on the special character of this pretty part of Biddenham, and on the setting of the grade 2 listed building opposite.
The society believes the proposed replacement building is not contextually appropriate in respect of size, scale, massing, architectural character, relationship with nearby buildings, and alignment and treatment of the setting, and has recommended that planning permission is refused.
In 2016 the Biddenham Society successfully had ‘White Cottage’, 34 Day’s Lane, listed to avoid any possible demolition of this historic property, one of the few Arts and Craft houses in the village. An application has now been submitted for a variety of repairs, alterations and extensions to the main house, and for the construction of a substantial annexe in the garden.
Whilst the society is prepared to support many of the repairs and alterations, we have serious concerns on a number of matters including the choice and use of the materials proposed which we believe will compromise the design and setting of the building. We have made our reservations known to the planning authority and suggested ways forward for consideration.
We are however completely opposed to the construction of the annexe which, in our view, is quite inappropriate. The structure would not only compromise the house itself, but also the important relationship between the house and the garden design for which the architect achieved renown, and which was lauded by the famous Gertrude Jekyll and continues to influence garden design to the present day.
Full details of the application can be found on the borough’s website by quoting 18/00877/FUL or 18/00878/LBC.