Apparent Development Activity on Land Close to the A428

The Borough Council has received a number of reports about apparent unauthorised development activity on a site to the south of Bromham of the A428 and to the east of the roundabout with the A422.  Previous planning applications for a private travellers site on this land have been rejected by the Borough Council.

A number of local residents have reported a JCB type digger clearing the land and have reported this to the Borough Council.  The Council’s Planning Department has served a “stop notice” on the land owner today, ordering the work to be halted.  The site is being monitored regularly and if work on the land does not stop an application will be made for a court injunction to prevent any further work.

Members of the public can assist by reporting any further activity taking place; either by calling the Council’s Customer Services on 01234 718068 or using the planning enforcement form on the website at step 4 on the following page:

Please be assured that the Borough Council is doing all that the law allows to prevent any unauthorised development on this site.


Lee Phanco

Chief Officer for Customer Experience and Digital Services
Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall (2nd Floor, Room 216)
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP

Telephone 01234 718358



Bedford Borough Council – Working with our partners to make the borough a better place to live, work and visit.

Peter’s Picturehouse – Review and Preview

An Oscar-winning classic – ‘Casablanca’. This was April’s film at Peter’s Picturehouse. Many of us, including myself, had never seen it before – are those in their 60’s too young? – or at best, had seen the odd extract here and there. I really enjoyed it. Filmed in 1942, it’s a World War II drama and therefore contemporary at the time of filming. It focuses on an American expatriate, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who must choose between his love for a woman, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and helping her and her husband, a Czech Resistance leader, escape from the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Maybe a little slow to get going, the film fizzed into life with the appearance of our heroine, Ingrid Bergman. How did they manage in these black and white films to make their leading women so luminously beautiful? The chemistry between her and Bogart was intense, and the flashback to their love affair in Paris at the time the Nazis entered the city was very moving. The haunting song ‘As Time Goes By’ was central to the film. The finale was tense – would Bergman and her husband get on the plane? Had the police chief betrayed them to the Germans? What would our hero Rick do? Everyone breathed a sigh of relief at the end. ‘Casablanca’ has definitely stood the test of time.

The May film is ‘Phantom Thread’ (cert. 15). Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this is a film that came and went quite quickly when it was released early last year, and many of you might have missed it. I was lucky enough to see it at the open-air cinema in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, on a beautifully warm evening with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background and a glass of wine to hand. In this setting I would have enjoyed absolutely any film, but we were agreed at the end that it had been well worth seeing.

‘Phantom Thread’ stars Daniel Day-Lewis (and if you saw him in ‘Lincoln’ you will know what a great actor he is) in supposedly his last film before retirement, and he is in top form. He plays a renowned fashion designer, Reynolds Woodcock, in 1950’s London. He creates dresses for members of high society. Woodcock’s charisma and genius are matched by his obsessive, controlling personality. His household and daily life are managed by his sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville). The equilibrium is totally disturbed when a young waitress, Alma, enters his life.

‘Phantom Thread’ scored well with the film critics. It was nominated for five Oscars (including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress) and perhaps unsurprisingly for a film about high fashion, won the Oscar for Best Costume Design, so there is plenty to enjoy visually. One critic described it as ‘strange and mesmerizing…. romantic drama, with a touch of thriller and an unexpected dab of dark comedy.’ ‘The Independent’ said it was ‘wondrously bizarre’. There are one or two quite dark and unexpected twists (no violence however!). The audience reviews were somewhat more divided but many were very appreciative. It’s certainly an unusual film. Not one for you if you like action movies: rather sit back and admire the visuals and the superb acting. For quite a slow-paced film, I kept wide awake and absorbed throughout.

Come and see what you think. We can’t give you the Sydney Harbour setting, but you can have the glass of wine, and/or tea/coffee/ice cream if you prefer. The Village Hall doors open at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday 7 th May and the film starts at 7.30. Admission £5.

Rosemary Harris

The first garden waste collections of 2019

The first garden waste collections of 2019 will take place in Biddenham on Wednesday 13th March 2019. As there has been no collection during the last 3 months the green waste may have hardened during this period. There is no excuse for the collection not to take place on this basis as the operators should make the effort to release all waste. If you experience issues please contact the Borough Council direct.

For all details regarding the collection service, please click Bin collections then enter your post code details.

Drivers reminded to find alternative routes ahead of Network Rail’s Bromham Road Bridge Closure

With Network Rail’s major works on Bromham Road Bridge commencing on Monday 4 March 2019, Bedford Borough Council is reminding residents to find alternative transport routes.

Network Rail is closing the bridge to allow utilities running through the bridge to be removed and relocated ahead of the structure being demolished and reconstructed. The work is part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which will see the line electrified from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford.

As part of this, as of Monday 4 March 2019, there will be a partial closure of the A4280 over the bridge (supported by a vehicle diversion via Clapham Road). Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the work, but drivers will be affected.

A Bedford Borough Council Spokesperson said; “Bromham Road Bridge is a busy thoroughfare and one of the main access routes in and out of Bedford. We would urge drivers to seek alternative routes wherever possible and to allow more time for your journey in order to help minimise any disruption and delay.”

You can find out more about the planned work on Bromham Road Bridge by visiting the Network Rail website,  or calling the Network Rail National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.


Network Rail – Improvements to the Bromham Road Bridge (railway)

From Monday 4 March, Network Rail teams will begin work to upgrade Bromham Road bridge in Bedford, just north of Bedford Central station. Ahead of the full replacement of the bridge, underground utilities services running through the bridge need to be removed and relocated. This work will require a partial closure of the A4280 over the bridge.

By 2020 the bridge will have been demolished and reconstructed in order to allow for the safe clearance of the overhead line equipment underneath the bridge, ahead of the railway line being fully electrified from London to Bedford via Kettering and Corby.

In advance of work commencing, Network Rail is holding a public information event where residents and businesses can find out more about the work, and Network Rail representatives will be on hand to answer any questions. This will take place this Friday 22 February between 15:00 and 19:00 at the Park Inn Bedford, 2 St Mary’s St, Bedford, MK42 0AR, and you or your representative would be very welcome to attend.

If you are unable to attend but would like more information please do contact me and I would happy to arrange a face to face meeting with your parish members.

For more information about the work taking place please visit

I hope this information on the planned partial closure of Bromham Road bridge is helpful, but please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any further information.

Kind regards,

Mary Afonja

Communications Consultant (MML)

Mob: 07809376507

Network Rail Route and Project Communications
Room 119 Trent House
R T C Business Park
London Road
DE24 8UP

Update – Outline planning application for up to 160 dwellings including vehicular access

The deadline is fast approaching – 30th January 2019 for this application. There have been over 900 objections so far but we need many more to give weight to our feelings about this development. Many of you have already objected to this development. The Parish council thanks you for this. Please however make a final effort to ask friends, family and neighbours to make that final objection count.

There has been some concern that the Borough have not received or processed some objections. The Parish Council have been assured that all objections will be processed. The Borough are running a backlog. The Borough have stated they will acknowledge every objection individually.

The simplest and easiest way to object is to register at

If you or your friends don’t want to use the internet or feel able to engage with neighbours and friends, please print out a letter from the link below:- 


Door Step Challenge 10 – Gold Lane Development – Part 2


Biddenham History Society – Historical Dance

The January meeting of the Biddenham History Society was both informative and fun. Our speaker, Dr Anne Daye, is an expert on historical dance. She began by giving us an overview of aspects of dance as a source of entertainment as it would have been in a village like Biddenham from about 1750 to about 1850. Dances were one of the main means of meeting new people or renewing social connections. Dances were held in private houses – floor space was cleared – and in public venues, Assembly Rooms. There were  Assembly Rooms in Bedford in 1834.

The style of dancing changed considerably during this period. In the late eighteenth century, the minuet was still in vogue. Attention was focused on the performing couple: others stood around and watched.  Gradually other dances were introduced that involved all those present. These were country dances with their long sets and most shocking of all, the waltz, which necessitated close contact with a partner.

The new dances required instruction as it was too difficult to learn them at the ball. Dancing masters, they were generally men, were employed by wealthy families. Anne told us about Queen Victoria’s dancing master who travelled to Windsor and Balmoral when required. He sometimes taught the ladies-in-waiting and other times, the young royals. If there was no need for his services that day, he went fishing. In Bedford, the dancing masters were based in the Crescent and taught families like the Russells and St Johns.

Once we had some background information, Anne took on the role of dancing master, so that we could try out a couple of the Country Dances. One of them was regularly danced by a 14 year old girl in the  nineteenth century, but we soon realized that the young can learn moves and remember them faster than older people! We did try valiantly to remember where to go and when and Anne was very patient with us. We had plenty of laughter as well as gentle exercise!  Thank you Anne for being such a good teacher as well as lecturer!

After the meeting, we looked at an aerial photograph of the village taken in about 1960, that belongs to the Gardeners’ Association. Paula had brought it along for everyone to see. Three ponds were clearly visible in the centre of the village as well as the old farm buildings for Grove Farm.

The next meeting of the Society will be on Monday, April 29th at 8pm in the Church Barn. Our speaker will be Jean Fullerton who will tell us about Victorian Medicine. Jean has been a nurse and lecturer in
nursing. She is now a published novelist and a regular lecturer on cruise ships. I hope you will be able to come and hear her.

Kathy Fricker

Emergency Temporary One-Way Prohibition – Biddenham Turn


Road: Biddenham Turn, Biddenham.

Length Affected: Prohibits vehicles from proceeding in a south-westerly direction along that length of Biddenham Turn, Biddenham, which extends from Bromham Road, Bedford, to a point approximately 25 metres southwest of Bromham Road, Bedford.

Contact/Applicant: For further information please contact Kim Hamer of Anglian Water Services, Tel: 03457 145 145.

Reason for Closure: To facilitate urgent sewer repair work.

Dates: This emergency temporary one-way prohibition is anticipated to be in operation between 9:30am and 3:30pm on up to 5 days from Monday 28th January 2019 to Friday 1st February 2019 inclusive.

Signed Alternative Routes: Proceed in a westerly direction along Bromham Road to the roundabout adjoining Deep Spinney, Biddenham. Take the 1st exit and continue along Deep Spinney to Gold Lane. Turn right and continue along Gold Lane, then Main Road, and then Biddenham Turn to site.

Kind Regards,
Jason Holdsworth.
Highways Technician (Temporary Traffic Management).

Street Works,
Bedford Borough Council,
Borough Hall,
Cauldwell Street,
MK42 9AP.