‘White Cottage’ application – Black Marks!

The Biddenham Society
(founded 1965)

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.

Tony Wood
Chairman

Bedford Tigers v Luton – Sunday 22 April, Kingsfield Sports & Community Club

 

Bedford Tigers, despite a lack lustre 1st half, came back to win the match! 

 Final score was a win for the Tigers 52 – Luton 42 !

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The game is Rugby but more specifically Rugby League – if you haven’t seen it live come down and have a look. Game starts at 2:30pm.

The teams involved are Bedford Tigers and Luton Vipers (Two adult teams that play in the East of England league).

The Bedford Cup is an annual season opener and the new feature is that the cup has been donated in memory of Lesley Ashton who sadly passed last year and was a popular teacher over many years in the Bedford area.

Following the cup game there will be a set of fixtures starting on 5th May and we will publish the fixture list separately.
This will include games against teams from Milton Keynes, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, St Ives, Southend, Brentwood, Hitchin/North Herts and Luton. There will also Under 14 and Under 16 activities and games each week.

If you love Rugby please come down. Watch the game, have a sit and a cup of tea or a beer and enjoy the fresh air. There is no entry fee.

[The ground is located at the Biddenham end of the bypass]

click photo below

Photos, courtesy Gary Ingerson [Rocket Brand Communication]

Land west of Gold Lane, Biddenham

The Friends of the Biddenham Village Pond have submitted to Bedford Borough Council today:

If you haven’t already objected to policy 19, please do so now using this quick and easy to use link: http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/bpc-policy19.

And if you haven’t already objected to the planning application to build 250 houses west of Gold Lane (18/00140/MAO), please do so now using this link: http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/1800140MAO.

Please continue to share these links widely.

Local Plan 2035

The Friends of the Biddenham Village Pond have submitted to the Borough Council today their response to the Local Plan 2035, seeking the removal of policy 19 from the Plan.

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Policy 19 the Borough Council wants to include in the Local Plan 2035 would allow 160 houses to be built on land west of Gold Lane, Biddenham. Anticipating that new policy one developer has already applied to build 250 houses on that very same land west of Gold Lane (application number 18/00140/MAO), and many of you have already objected to that planning application. It is just as important, if not more so, to object as well to policy 19 which would make it easier for developers to build on that land, and so far not so many of you have objected to policy 19. Here is the link for objecting to policy 19 if you haven’t already done so, and you will see there too reasons for objecting:

http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/bpc-policy19

Policy 23 the Borough Council also wants to include in the Local Plan would allow the development of land to the rear of Bromham Road, Biddenham. Here is the link, with reasons, for objecting to that, if you haven’t already done so:

http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/bpc-policy23

If you haven’t already objected, please do so now. If you have objected, please encourage all the other adults in your household to object using the quick and easy links above: to ensure every objection counts as a separate objection, please each adult member in a family use your own separate social media or email account to make your objections.

And please continue to forward the links to family, friends and anyone you know in Biddenham, the local area and further afield, and encourage them to object too: share the links as widely as you can.

 

BEDFORD SOCIETY LOCAL PLAN 2035: CONSULTATION

The Biddenham Society

BEDFORD BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN 2035: CONSULTATION
The Biddenham Society has submitted the following objections to Policies 19 and 23 (which relate to tracts of land west of Gold Lane and on the north side of Bromham Road close to the bridge) of the draft 2035 Local Plan, and has requested the policies are withdrawn.

Policy 19
This area of land is currently protected by Policy AD43 (Urban Open Spaces and Gaps) of the Borough’s Allocations and Designations Plan.  Policy AD43 identifies urban open spaces as those ‘which have particular importance in maintaining the function, character and identity of the urban area’.  It specifically highlights the need to preserve ‘visual breaks to safeguard local distinctiveness including views (particular areas of importance around Elstow and Biddenham have been identified as gaps)’.
It further states that ‘Development will not be permitted on land designated as urban open space and gaps unless it can be demonstrated that the reasons for designation are not compromised or that other material considerations outweigh the need to retain the urban open space and gaps undeveloped’.
This policy (AD43) supports the most recent inspector’s report on this area which relates to an application from Wimpey Homes Holdings to ‘Allocate 18.61ha of land at Gold Lane, Biddenham for some 350 new dwellings on 10ha of net developable land with generous landscaping’ (May 2001 Inspector’s Report on the Bedford Borough Local Plan, page 116 section 4.2.27).  He concludes that ‘Development of the scale proposed would seriously diminish the visual attraction of the village edge’, and that ‘By extending north-westwards over what is now a relatively wide rural landscape, it would much diminish the separation between this fringe area of Bedford and the nearby village of Bromham’.

The Biddenham Society suggests that the rationale for creating Policy 19 to supersede Policy AD43 of the Allocations and Designation Plan for this area is unsound for the following reasons:

  1. The Inspector’s conclusions are as valid now as they were in 2001. In the intervening period the only change on this site has been the replacement of a single derelict barn at the end of Duck End Lane with a new dwelling, otherwise the entire area is in exactly the same condition as before, and remains undisturbed agricultural land.
  2. Whilst the current proposal in Policy 19 is to develop only 160 dwellings compared to the 350 on which the inspector ruled, his conclusions are equally valid when applied to this lesser number. Firstly, a smaller development will still impact significantly on ‘the visual attraction of the village edge’ as he states, and secondly, confining 160 dwellings to the north-east of the site does not negate the inspector’s concern of closing the gap with Bromham by extending the village north-westwards.
  3. The development of 160 dwellings in Proposal 19 is certainly in conflict with the existing Policy AD43, and it is difficult to conceive how one could dispute that this development would have a serious negative effect on ‘maintaining the function, character and identity’ of Biddenham. Further, the local authority cannot argue that ‘other material considerations outweigh the need to retain the urban open space and gaps undeveloped’ as Bedford Borough has many more sustainable and brown-field sites that could be developed for the 160 properties proposed here.
  4. Proposal 9 is also flawed on practical grounds. There is no safe vehicular access to and from the section of the site identified, with any chosen exit onto Gold Lane raising the prospect of a significant increase in traffic through the centre of the village. Local schools are not equipped to handle the increased numbers of school-age children which will result from new housing of this magnitude, the education service already being under pressure to cater for the extra demand resulting from the large building programme north of Bromham Road.

The Biddenham Society therefore urges Bedford Borough to delete Policy 9 from the 2035 draft Local Plan.

Policy 23
This area of land is currently protected by Policy AD42 (Local Gaps) of the Allocations and Designations Plan, and by Policies CP12 and CP13 of the Core strategy and Rural Issues Plan. The proposed Policy 23 to the new Local Plan seeks to set aside important geographical and environmental factors which the borough previously considered to be sufficiently significant as to be worthy of inclusion as ‘red lines’ in the planning framework.  These include

  1. Preserving the physical presence, visual appearance, character, and integrity of the gap between the site and the Bromham boundary; and
  2. Defining the site as open countryside within the context of Settlement Policy Areas, with future development only being permitted if consistent with national policy, in particular PPS7: Planning and the Countryside.

There have been no changes to this area of land since the above two plans were approved, the most recent application for development (16/00737/MAO) being withdrawn following widespread opposition, including from the planning authority.  It is therefore difficult to understand why there should be a reversal of policy as the earlier objections still apply, especially when the relatively small number of dwellings that can be accommodated could be built on more suitable sites available elsewhere in the borough.

In addition to the above it is clear there are several other sound reasons why this particular site is unsuitable for housing development.  These include

    1. Its part presence in flood zones 2 and 3a which will place an unnecessary burden and worry on future occupants of dwellings constructed here;
    2. The presence of a narrow and dangerous access onto Bromham Road;
    3. Causing increased traffic flow across the ancient Bromham Bridge in one direction, and onto the Bromham bypass via a hazardous junction in the other direction; and
    4. The destruction of the beautiful vistas to and from the bridge and the mill.

The Biddenham Society therefore urges Bedford Borough to
delete Policy 23 from the 2035 draft Local Plan.

Dr Tony Wood      Chairman

SOS: Save Open Spaces

We’re conscious you’ve already received a lot of information in the last few weeks about the threats facing Biddenham. Please though do bear with us and carry on reading here about the actions you can take to combat these threats before it’s too late: the clock is ticking! And please do share this as widely as you can, with its quick and easy to use links below, to enable as many people as possible to take action too.

Bedford Borough Council wants to destroy precious remaining open spaces around Biddenham. It’s doing this by introducing policies into its new Local Plan 2035 that will allow development on those open spaces, which will have developers rubbing their hands with glee. We cannot overemphasise the importance and significance of these policies being removed from the Local Plan so that the few open spaces still left will remain protected.

We urge you to object to the introduction of these new policies before it’s too late and Biddenham and surrounding communities become progressively merged in an urban sprawl. There are links below to do that quickly and easily. We cannot overemphasis as well the need for a massive number of objections to be made to these policies – many, many hundreds, and we’re not there yet. We must redouble our efforts and all do all we possibly can to work towards that end in the days that remain.

To ensure every objection counts as a separate objection, please each adult member in a family use your own separate social media or email account to make your objections.

We know that new houses need to be built for the growing population and for our children as they seek their own first homes. Our objection to these policies is not Nimbyism. There are plenty of more sustainable and brown field sites in the Borough which should be prioritised: there is no need to build on these few remaining open spaces.

And it’s a fact that the parish of Biddenham has already made in recent times and is still making an enormous contribution to the provision of new houses, probably more than its fair share: think of the Biddenham Turn estate, Deep Spinney, Great Denham now hived off but still building, and the western end of King’s Field, still building. Great swathes of open space lost, and gone forever: little precious open space left. If any open space is to remain not concreted over, building cannot continue unchecked. We must protect and conserve what remains of our natural environment and the wide ranging benefits derived from it for the health and wellbeing of this and future generations.

Anticipating these new Borough Council policies one developer, as we know, has already applied to build 250 houses on land west of Gold Lane (application number 18/00140/MAO). Many of you have lodged your objections to that application, and thank you for that. If you haven’t objected to it yet, there is a link, with reasons, at the end which you can use quickly and easily to object.

Policy 19 that the Council wants to include in the Local Plan 2035 would allow 160 houses to be built on that very same land west of Gold Lane. Here is the link for objecting to that policy, if you haven’t already done so, and you will see there too reasons for objecting:

http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/bpc-policy19

Policy 23 if included in the Local Plan would allow the development of land to the rear of Bromham Road. Here is the link, with reasons, for objecting to that, if you haven’t already done so:

http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/bpc-policy23

There is still time both to object to the two policies the Borough Council wants to include in the Local Plan which would make it easier for developers to build on currently protected open spaces, and also to object to the planning application for 250 houses west of Gold Lane:

  • if you haven’t already objected, please do so now;
  • if you have objected, please encourage all the other adults in your household to object using the quick and easy links above: to ensure every objection counts as a separate objection, please each adult member in a family use your own separate social media or email account to make your objections; and
  • please forward the links to family, friends and anyone you know in Biddenham, the local area and further afield: share them as widely as you can.

Please pass this on to them via text, Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media you use. And, of course, please pass on by email if you or they aren’t connected to social media.

If you haven’t already objected to the planning application to build 250 houses west of Gold Lane (18/00140/MAO), please do so now using this link:

http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/1800140MAO

Thank you very much for caring about the environment, about Biddenham, and about its character and heritage.

 

 

Object now – or lose this land for ever!

The Biddenham Society (founded 1965)
Chairman: Dr Tony Wood

 Application 18/00140/MAO

Land off Deep Spinney, Biddenham, Bedfordshire

The Biddenham Society opposes this application.

There are many reasons why this application should be refused by the local authority.  Most of these have been identified, and are strongly supported, by residents of the village, and no doubt form the basis of numerous objections already submitted.  These include:

  • Destruction of the fine landscape views across the site towards the river valley
  • Loss of the present wildlife-friendly paths through arable farmland with the consequent destruction of habitats
  • Reduction of the visual separation of Biddenham from Bromham
  • Dangerous entrance and exit proposals for vehicles associated with the site
  • Significant increases in traffic through the village and on Bromham Road
  • Inadequate schools provision to support the number of properties proposed
  • Potentially detrimental effects on the village pond and its associated wildlife
  • Overdevelopment of the area with consequent loss of character

In the most recent (2001) report by an independent inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to consider objections to the development of this parcel of land, the inspector states:

  • “…development of the scale proposed would seriously diminish the visual attractions of the village edge…and the separation between this fringe area of Bedford and the nearby village of Bromham” (May 2001 Report, section 4.2.30).

This proposal is in conflict with current policy AD43 of the Bedford Borough’s Allocations and Designations Plan, and is contrary to saved Policies BE30 i), BE35 iii), and BE36, of the  Local Plan, and Policy CP21 iii) of the Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan, and we urge its refusal.

Dr Tony Wood
Chairman
5 February 2018

Planning application to build 250 houses west of Gold Lane

You still have time to object to 250 houses being built on the land west of Gold Lane in Biddenham, if you haven’t done so already. It’ll take you less than 30 seconds. Just click here:

http://www.have-a-say.co.uk/1800140MAO

  • Anyone who hasn’t objected, please do so now;
  • if you have objected, please encourage all the other adults in your household to object using this quick and easy method; and
  • please forward the link to family, friends and anyone you know in Biddenham, the local area or even further afield.

Please pass this on to them via text, Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media you use. Or, of course, email too if you are not connected to social media.

Thank you very much for caring about Biddenham, its environment and our historic village pond.