20 February 2015: This aerial view of the bypass was taken prior to the 15 February update, traffic is still circulating round the old Bromham Road/Deep Spinney roundabout which has now gone completely. But it does show how the bypass is progressing to the next roundabout along it, and beyond towards the Sainsbury’s roundabout.
15 February 2015: The old Bromham Road/DeepSpinney roundabout has gone, and the new larger roundabout has fully taken shape with traffic now moving around it. The position of what will be the new entrance onto the roundabout from Deep Spinney is clearly visible. Details are awaited of the temporary traffic management arrangements to be operated when the new entrance from and exit to Deep Spinney are put in place.
Work is also well underway with the construction of the next roundabout along the new and last section of the bypass that will include an exit into the development on the western (Biddenham) area of the land north of Bromham Road.
The first set of pictures below shows the work progressing on the new Bromham Road/Deep Spinney roundabout and the second shows the underpass to the north of that roundabout and the new roundabout under construction beyond the underpass.
8 February 2015: More big changes. Traffic lights are being put in place in Bromham Road as and when required by the particular work taking place, to control the flow of traffic heading to the Bromham Road/Deep Spinney roundabout from the east and the west.
Old traffic islands have been dismantled and new ones are being constructed on the new sections of road approaching the new roundabout. The old roundabout too is being dismantled as tarmac is being laid to enable Bromham Road traffic to be diverted in the near future around the north of the new roundabout. This will then enable the southern side of the new roundabout and the exit/entrance to Deep Spinney to be constructed.
Our local councillors are seeking a public meeting for Biddenham residents to hear what is proposed for managing traffic in and out of the Deep Spinney junction as that construction takes place and its implications for traffic through the village. (See the response below to a comment from Mark for more up to date information)
A full house of 100 residents attended the 50th AGM and lunch of The Biddenham Society held on Sunday 7 December 2014 in the Village Hall. In his welcoming remarks the chairman drew attention to the presence of two residents, David Palmer and Pat McKeown, who had also been present at the inaugural meeting of the society in 1965.
The minutes of the 2013 AGM (presented by Secretary Mark Phillips) and the Balance Sheet for 2013-2014 (presented by Treasurer Bob Hutchinson) were both accepted by the meeting, the particularly healthy state of the finances being primarily due to as yet unspent lottery funds committed to the heritage trail.
In his report, the chairman reported that 38 planning applications for the Biddenham area had been received during the last year, most of them relating to property extensions. However four recent submissions of particular significance to the village were worthy of specific note.
i). The most recent application by the owner of 29 Day’s Lane to construct two dwellings on the site of the orchard adjoining the pavilion field had again been refused following widespread local opposition.
ii). The application for retrospective planning permission by the occupant of 38 Church End for a two-storey residential barn already constructed in the back garden was refused following objections by the society, the parish council and neighbours.
iii). The application to extend and re-model the façade of ‘The Firs’, 21 Church End was withdrawn following objections from the society and others regarding an inappropriate pastiche design and other factors.
iv). The application to construct a large residence to the rear of ‘Lavender Lodge’, 42 Main Road is pending, but has been opposed by the society as an overdevelopment of the site and with an excessive footprint.
The chairman then described the latest developments regarding the paddock between Church End and the golf course and a new form of protection for green spaces which can be shown to be special to the local community. From the floor, Pat McKeown spoke of the initiative he has launched to acquire this area presentation in trust to the village, and Cllr Jon Gambold followed with the possibility of still having the paddock accepted as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ despite the recent rejection by the borough of an application from the parish council for its designation.
The chairman then updated the meeting on the by pass extension north of Bromham Road: completion by October 2016 (earlier if the weather is kind); a contractual requirement to complete the first two roundabouts in nine months giving access for housing construction; 1300 dwellings currently planned, but initial development will only be at the western end of the site; cost £8 million.
This will be opened at 11.00 am on Saturday 18 April 2015 at King’s Corner, Main Road, by Alistair Burt MP. Biddenham Upper School will be providing musical accompaniment, and family trail questionnaires (with prizes) will be available. More details later. The Junior Heritage Trail, devised by pupils of St James’ Lower School, will be opened at a later date in the school’s summer term.
Three excellent presentations on aspects of the heritage trail were then made to the meeting. Monica Knight discussed the history and development of the Arts and Crafts movement in Biddenham, specifically in relation to the houses of Mallows and Baillie-Scott; Peter Applewhite talked about the origins and turbulent past of the village pond and its lost dovecote, and encouraged those present to help preserve this important asset by becoming ‘friends’ of the pond; and Kathy Fricker described the work and activities of the recently-formed History Society, and its close links with the development of the heritage trail.
Peter Applewhite also briefly referred to the excellent new initiative of the ‘Biddenham Blog’. The society’s section can be found on https://biddenhamblog.wordpress.com/biddenham-society/
Election of committee
Thanks were expressed to Averil Watson who is stepping down from the committee this year. The remainder of the committee Dr Tony Wood (Chairman), Mark Phillips (Secretary), Bob Hutchinson (Treasurer), Chris Gleave, Will Jenkin, Monica Knight, Susie Mason Patel, Dr Jeremy Reynolds, and David Slark were re-elected for 2014-2015.
In closing the meeting the chairman thanked the committee, helpers and friends for their great efforts in organising the luncheon event, and especially Chris Gleave for once again masterminding the preparation of the meal.
>> click for further details
The recent clearance of trees and hedges along the north of Bromham Road, between Biddenham Turn and Beverley Grove, has prompted questions about what is happening on the land north of Bromham Road.
This work is to facilitate in due course the creation of a new road junction into the eventual development from Bromham Road (going north into the development). The new junction will be to the east of the Biddenham Turn junction (which goes south into Biddenham). There will be associated changes to the footpath layout, and new planting along the revised boundary.
Changes have also been proposed to the design guidelines for the development of the land north of Bromham Road, following discussions with council departments concerned and to bring the guidelines up to date with current policy both at national and local level. There have been changes in location for the community centre and for the public playing pitches, which are now proposed to be located at the west (Biddenham) end of the site, and for the primary school for which a planning application has now been submitted (as reported in the 25 January 2015 edition of Bedfordshire on Sunday, page 28). There may be further revisions to the position and impact/style of the community centre buildings given their rural setting near to what would be more traditional style housing and a listed building.
There is a consultation period for the revision of the design guidelines which started on 6 January and runs to 8 February 2015. The relevant documents are available on the Bedford Borough Council website.
20 January 2015: Things are changing! The new bigger Bromham Road/Deep Spinney roundabout is advancing rapidly. The road to the north of the current roundabout is down to one lane, the other (the outer) being excavated; and the footpath north of Bromham Road has been diverted to the north of the new roundabout with a new crossing point from Deep Spinney, both with temporary surfaces.
The cycle underpass is now clearly visible as construction continues.
9 January 2015: Into the New Year and work continues apace. The Bromham Road/Deep Spinney roundabout is really taking shape now and landscaping proposals for the new roundabout will be discussed by the Parish Council at a forthcoming meeting.
Work is pressing on too with the cycle underpass and the approach road to the roundabout from Bromham.
12 December 2014: A mild December so far, and the race is on before the Xmas break (?).
The ‘cycleway underpass’ off the main entrance towards the ‘Baulk’ is progressing, and to the right hand side of the Baulk work is concentrating on the excavation/transfer of sand & gravel before the road foundation work can commence. The Clapham Road end site is also now established.
The Clapham Road end site is also now established.
A new page Biddenham future has been added to the blog’s main menu.
It will provide a record of Biddenham as it is before developments take place that will change the village in the future. Initially, it is covering the two major planning issues currently of particular interest to the village:
- the proposed development of land north of Bromham Road; and
- the submissions for development in Biddenham put forward for inclusion in the local plan for the Borough of Bedford in the period up to 2032.
24 November 2014: The November weather now changeable, the heavy weekend rain revealing the clay soil prevalent around Bedfordshire. Work now concentrating on creating the ‘cycleway underpass’ off the main entrance towards the ‘Baulk’.
Work starting to gather pace north of Bromham Road, toward the Clapham.