Summer Splash Out and AGM 2018

A sunny day on Sunday, 10 June greeted both our Summer Splash Out and Friends AGM and also the Red Cross Open Garden Day in Biddenham.  Friends were able to attend and enjoy both events and we appreciate the support of the many Friends who came along to the Splash Out in the Church Barn. Our cream tea bakers and makers once again provided a most delicious spread, and were warmly thanked by those present.

We reviewed another busy year for the village pond, including two major issues affecting the village and the pond during the year, the planning application to build 250 houses on land off Gold Lane and the proposed Policy 19 in the Borough Council’s Local Plan 2035 affecting the same piece of land, both of which were still unresolved. You can see the full review of activities tabled at the Splash Out by clicking here – AGM 2018.

There was a slideshow of activities during the year and pictures of old Biddenham, including the pond and dovecote, and Chris Jones again showed us wildlife from the pond under the microscope.

The chairman, Peter Applewhite, paid tribute to Gillian Quince who had retired from the management committee during the year, but who, with her husband Peter, was still volunteering at events, not least masterminding the catering that very afternoon.

In introducing the formal business of re-electing the committee, the chairman noted that he had been a member of the committee for 16 years, and had been privileged to be chairman for 12 of those years. He said his personal pond ‘best by’ date had already expired and his ‘use by’ date was imminent! As that was the case, if re-elected he would serve for just that year and would retire as chairman and as a committee member at the AGM in 2019.

The officers and the pond management committee were thereafter re-elected for a further year, and Andrew Ewing was re-appointed as independent examiner of the accounts.

In concluding his remarks, Peter looked to the future and stressed the need for new people to come forward to serve as committee members if the pond was to survive for everyone to enjoy in the years to come. He urged those present to canvas friends, neighbours, acquaintances on behalf of the pond to find and encourage volunteers to come forward to strengthen the committee and make it fit and robust for the years to come. He finished by asking all those present to think, pond!

 

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The eastern jetty

The pond looking lovely on a lovely Spring morning – thank you Mother Nature – our intrepid volunteers carried out some initial work on the original, the eastern, jetty.

David replaced worn out bolts and tightened the remainder, strengthening the structure. Whilst David was busy on the jetty, Trevor and Will discussed and resolved the requirements for building a permanent firm base for the planks on the bank, in the meantime putting in place a temporary fix to reduce stress on the planks.

Thank you to our volunteers for their contribution today.

And behind the scenes two bluebells enjoyed their moment in the sun.

 

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Two great days

Good things can come along together!

Friday, 6 April, conditions were ideal, clear water in the pond and a dry, mild evening, for the annual Frog Foray. A tremendous turnout of 18 frog forayers, the best for many a year, were rewarded with an equally tremendous turnout of newts, also the best for many a year. There were both common and in particular great crested newts with the males’ splendid crests easily visible. They were so active, to the delight of the assembled forayers, it was almost as if the newts were putting on a display for them! It wasn’t easy to take photos but you will see a female great crested newt in the picture below.

There was abundant daphnia and ramshorn snails also put in an appearance. It was a tad early for some other little beasties to venture out and if there were frogs about they didn’t appear until after we had all gone, croaking perhaps, fooled them again! A big thank you to Chris and to our enthusiastic forayers.

Saturday, 7 April dawned, a fine and bright morning, perfect for tidying the pond site after the Winter. Our ten volunteers, including some new faces, worked hard at the Spring work morning, trimming, lopping, raking, mowing, and the site and path from Gold Lane looked all the better for it at home time. Oh, and let’s not forget the traditional Spring bonfire.

Thank you very much to our volunteers, and to the Manor Hospital for the welcome refreshments that gave us a mid-morning boost. And thank you also to the kind lady from Nodders Way who, at the Frog Foray, said she would bake some cakes for the work morning. She delivered and they were delicious!

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Water, water …

The recent heavy rainfall has added considerably to the water in the pond, we’re happy to report. Although there’s still room for some more!

What will Chris discover in the water this coming Friday evening at the annual Frog Foray? Fingers crossed for some interesting finds. And if it’s dry the next day for the Spring work morning there’s a bonfire in waiting.

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On the up

At last the water in the pond is approaching a more respectable level: and the ducks are enjoying it:

 

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Land west of Gold Lane, Biddenham

The Friends 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.

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Local Plan 2035

The Friends 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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

Posted in Website

Planning application to build 250 houses on land west of Gold Lane

The Friends have submitted to the Borough Council today their response to planning application 18/00140/MAO  to build 250 houses on land west of Gold Lane.

Their response to policy 19 in the Local Plan 2035 which affects that same land off Gold Lane is currently being finalised and will be submitted to the Borough Council soon.

Posted in The Friends, Update | Tagged

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.

Posted in Website