Latest statement from Bidwells regarding the old golf course land between Biddenham and Great Denham.

The following is a statement issued by Bidwells, the company who, on behalf of the land-owners, manage the old golf course land between Biddenham and Great Denham.

Since the closure of the golf course in October 2020 sheep are now grazing the grass on rotation and various maintenance has been carried out. Turning to the old clubhouse and its regeneration. We have been in discussions with a well-respected nursery operator with over 23 years’ experience in the sector. They are vastly experienced in developing new nurseries and in the past have built 3 nurseries from greenfield sites and converted a farm house into national award-winning setting. Most recently they built Toybox, now Busy Bees in Great Denham. Their experience and local knowledge will ensure the clubhouse is turned into an outstanding nursery. Their application to convert the building is currently under review.A planning application will follow in due course for the green keepers shed for change of use to light industrial, as previously reported.We are in communications with the Rights of Way Inspector to install new and improve the current footpath markers to help show the locations of the paths. The footpaths will be maintained and should any issues arise we would be grateful if they could be fed back to the Clerk of the Parish Council so we can address matters of concern. Please can we take this opportunity to remind everyone that the land is no longer a golf course and therefore under absolutely no circumstances is golf to be played on this land.Regarding the wider land, ongoing consideration is being given to the potential utilisation of the “Public Money for Public Goods” post-Brexit Agriculture Bill. Until such a point that this is confirmed the Trustees are not in a position to be able to make any long term decisions.We are also aware that the matter of security is a concern to many residents. This is a matter we will consistently monitor and will amend our strategy if required.

They are naturally keen to see the old clubhouse converted into something that generates income, and it is fair to say that the prospective nursery operators they mention do have a good track record. There is currently a planning application you can comment on via the Bedford Borough planning website for this change of use. Click here and enter the application number 20/02846/FUL. You have until 3rd Feb if you want to comment.

Biddenham Parish Council.

Litter picking in Biddenham

Litter is being regularly dropped by people outside Biddenham who have take-away meals and then throw the packaging on the verges. Several kind residents pick this up and deposit in the nearest litter bin. However, since Covid-19 there is a reluctance to do this. To facilitate safer picking, the Borough Council run a volunteering scheme called ‘Community Champions’. This is a litter-picking scheme that can be carried out individually or in a group setting. They will provide all necessary equipment to safely litter pick, which includes a picker, bags, bag hoop, gloves, and a hi-vis vest, as well as safety guidance on litter picking in your local area. They will then contact you once a month to find out how you are getting along.

To join this scheme, you can sign up as a community champion here: www.bedford.gov.uk/volunteering

If you have any questions, just let Kate know below:-

Katie Lewis
Events & Community Engagement Officer
Environment Services
Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford. MK42 9AP
Phone: 01234 228759
www.bedford.gov.uk
Twitter: @bedfordtweets
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bedfordboroughcouncil/

Notice of Conclusion of Audit

Notice of Conclusion of Audit – Annual Return for year ending March 31st 2020.

The audit of accounts for Biddenham Parish Council for the year ended 31 March 2020 has been concluded and the statement of accounts has been published.The Annual Governance and Accountability Return is available for inspection under Section 25 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014:

  • via this website – please go to the financial reports folder.
  • on application to the Clerk, via email: clerk@biddenham.org.uk. Copies will be provided to any elector on payment of a fee (50pence) for each copy of the Annual Return.

Suspected local drug dealing

There has been an increase in suspected drug dealing activity in Biddenham over the past few weeks. The police are aware of the situation and would like to build further evidence so they can take action. Of particular interest are cars that look suspicious e.g. parked with occupants at night in unlit areas of the village. Registration numbers and make/model are useful but please do not do anything that may put yourself at risk.

They have asked that any suspicious activity is reported via 101 or online at https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/information-and-services/Contact/Contact

Remembrance Sunday

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, the importance of slowing the spread and keeping our communities safe, Remembrance Day will be marked very differently across the country this year.

Remembrance Sunday falls on Sunday 8th November. Normally this would see the local community join an event at the war memorial. This year, however, the Parish Council, who organise the event, are asking people to note Government, British Legion and Borough advice not to attend such ceremonies.

Robin Thomas, from the Bedford Branch of the Royal British Legion, said “With rates of COVID-19 infection rising and government guidance about the rule of 6, this year’s events will be very different. Sadly, we are asking the public not to attend and instead to follow events online, or nationally on TV or on the radio rather than risking the virus spreading.”

Revd Lomax, who will be officiating at Biddenham’s ceremony of remembrance, said “We know this will be very disappointing to people and we would like to thank everyone for their understanding at this difficult time. We are putting plans in place to broadcast the service via Zoom and should you wish to join us online please login to Zoom and use reference 9980746039. St James Church will be conducting its own act of worship, on the same link, following the Act of remembrance.”

Should any members of the public still attend, two marshals from the Parish Council will be present to ensure social distancing rules are followed.

Issued by Biddenham Parish Council 26.10.2020

Great Denham Golf Course closure – Security

The Parish Councils of Biddenham and Great Denham met with Bidwells, the agents of the landowners of the course, on Friday 9th October regarding their plans to ensure the security of the land and buildings after the club has closed.

Jack Hawkesworth of Bidwells confirmed the following:

  • The clubhouse will continue to be covered by CCTV and monitored by a security firm. The Clubhouse will be empty.
  • The compound will also have the same security arrangements in place.
  • The Car Park will be blocked off in some way. Since the meeting fencing has been put in by contractors working for Bidwells.

Both Parish Councils stressed the importance of security of the land once the golf club is no longer there, and that it is critically important that any incidents are dealt with quickly and firmly, and that preventative measures should be considered.

Bidwells asked that any incident is reported firstly via the Parish Councils to them, and they will take prompt action to deal with these. They employ a number of security contractors who have a range of experience in dealing with issues regarding land invasion etc.

Reporting an incident:

Contact Biddenham Parish Council: clerk@biddenham.org.uk

Contact Great Denham Parish Council: clerk@greatdenhamparishcouncil.gov.uk

Great Denham Golf Course

The Parish Council, working with Great Denham Parish Council, have recently held a meeting with Bidwell’s the landowner’s agent for the Great Denham Golf Course, to try and maintain the green space and urban gap. A copy of the minutes can be found by clicking the link below.

In addition, a Save Great Denham Golf Course and Urban Gap Group has been established independent of the Parish Councils and a copy of the latest minutes of their meeting with Bidwell’s can be found by clicking the link below.

Help required

Have you got a few hours to spare, especially on Tuesdays or Thursdays? Dine with us community larder needs help sorting and selling food bank donations and fresh food from supermarkets. They are in Greyfriars. Check out their Facebook page or phone Liz Watson 01234 345028 for more info.