Maulden Autumn – get outside and enjoy

Although the evenings are drawing in now, we have had a very fortunate autumn (although farmers may differ slightly in what they consider to be good weather for November.) The year has been unusually bright, with very few frosts, and temperatures holding slightly above-average since September. Few of us will forget the glorious sunsets that we have had in the last few days. Photography, although a useful aid to memory, is a poor substitute for the reality.

If you have not recently been for a walk around Maulden Woods, it is remains quite splendid in autumn colours although most of the leaves have fallen already. It is still worth the time taken to visit it.

All around Maulden, we have wonderful open countryside and are very lucky that local farming businesses do a fairly good job of keeping our footpath open and passable. The few that become muddy after harvest and ploughing have already become quite well trodden and passable again. This is also the season in which nettles and brambles either die back or a cutback, which makes walking a little easier.

Drinking outside at lunchtime in our local pubs is still possible, although you may need to wear a warm coat. Just because bikini season has passed, is no reason to give up the pleasure of sitting outside.

Our local village parks and SSSIs are now putting on their winter form. They may not be as spectacular, and wildlife may be harder to spot, but there are still lots of things worth getting out to sea.

There is very good evidence that communities are hugely enhanced when people leave their homes and walk about in the local area. They meet people, they can see things that need attention, and they benefit from sunshine and green spaces. It can also help put development and change into context when one can see it from many other locations.

Maulden Village Sunset
Maulden Village Sunset

2016 November 1 – Pre-planning consultation

November 2016 pre-planning consultation
November 2016 pre-planning consultation

Please attend and give fair and reasonable feedback to the organisers. Please also send any feedback you do give to the Neighbourhood Planning team.  as well – this will ensure it is also taken into consideration when the full Neighbourhood Plan is available.

Sadly the website http://www.maulden-consultation.co.uk/  was not active at the time of posting this article.

The project is being run by Resolved Developments – they share in the value they create by getting permission to develop:

ADAS is working with landowners to maximise the value of their land by promoting it through the planning process for the purpose of residential property development. We do this by entering into a promotion agreement with the landowner which enables us to progress a planning application and ultimately obtain planning permission. After permission for a residential scheme is granted we will subsequently organise the sale of the land, on the open market, to the highest bidder. This approach ensures that the landowner maximises the value of their land before it is sold, while not risking any of their own money.

You can, and should, also make views clear to Central Bedfordshire Council via their Local Planning forum and complete their Growth Options Survey as well.

When responding, as well the normal factors of housing needs and road access, it helps to think about all of the affects, positive and negative, of growth in the village on:

  • Green infrastructure (The network of open spaces, SSSI, national footpaths, spaces for nature and access routes and in both urban and rural areas)
  • Transport (roads, train lines, bus and cycle routes) and parking, especially parking transferred to other areas (such as at stations and shoipping areas)
  • Affordable homes / appropriate homes (generally older and younger buyers)
  • Communication and broadband iInfrastructure
  • Schools at each level
  • Health (doctors, dentists, hospitals etc.)
  • Community Facilities (shops, post offices and recreation)
  • Drainage
  • Businesses and employment in local and national areas

It helps a great deal if a wider view can be taken on the impact on the whole of Central Bedfordshire as well as the specific impact on the immediate area and the village of Maulden.

Finally, it is worth considering “what would make this work better”. If there are specific provisions or a contribution to the whole village in some way, what would make the most impact?

Development is mainly financially driven unless there is a strong and co-ordinated local and regional response. At present, land with planning permission in Bedfordshire is worth considerably more than land without it. The basic economics of a large development are exceptionally profitable for the land owner, and reasonably profitable for the developer. (A good example is given on this site of how it all works).

The site is worth £650,000 t0 £950,000 per Hectare for the owners, using Persimmon Homes figures, and assuming a final density closer to 30~35 homes per Hectare. It appears the suggestion is for a fairly low density site, but, as this village has experienced many times, final densities tend to increase with each amended planning submission.

In addition, the developer will recover 20~25% profits on selling (say) 50 homes at an average price of about £350,000 per home (again, using Persimmon Homes figures and their published accounts) or close to £4m. That is after paying relatively small sums of Community Infrastructure Levy and s106 Contribution (these will increase if Maulden has a Neighbourhood Plan in place before permission is granted).

It may make sense, therefore, for the village, as a whole, to consider carefully “what would make us like this more?” alongside the question of “do we want this at all?”

 

Thanks in advance.

Maulden Parish Council Election 2015

Parish Council Elections

Many of you will not think of your Parish Council from one month to the next, but they are incredibly important to the village and how it runs and how it will develop.

Please, if you are going to vote, vote for your parish councillors of choice this year in the Maulden Parish Council Election 2015. The more people who vote, the more credible the councillors are and the more incentive they have to really work hard for the whole community.

We believe that the questions you should ask of any candidate are these:

Will you help this village of Maulden to:

  1. Enhance the spirit of the Maulden Village community through everything you do
  2. Deliver positive growth and change to the benefit of everyone who lives in it?
  3. Create a vibrant local business community that benefits the residents as well as business owners?
  4. Enhance the environment of the village and the area around it in a sustainable manner?
  5. Consider ways to enhance heritage assets in a meaningful and sustainable manner?
  6. Work hard for improved communication and social cohesion?
  7. Support our youngest, oldest, poorest and most disadvantaged residents in meaningful and constructive ways?
  8. Consider the value of social events in public spaces for the whole village (like Christmas singing, Bonfire night, Summer BBQ, Village Fair)?
  9. Improve the safety and security of the whole village and everyone in it?
  10. Improve the physical infrastructure, and work with responsible bodies to do so?
  11. Encourage volunteering from others?
  12. Use all your powers to deliver those changes?

Those candidates who commit to, or have a clear desire to, support those 12 aims should get your vote in the Maulden Parish Council Election 2015, and your support in future.

It is worth finding out what they can do (officially) and who they are, so you can write to them or get to know them in and about the village.

For those with a deeper interest in good governance, you will want to know that your candidates are on top of the recommendations for councillors (Good Councillors Guide) and the latest thinking on Localism and empowerment of councils (Connecting Localism and Community Empowerment Full Report)

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF CANDIDATES

Dated Friday 10 April 2015

Richard Carr Acting Returning Officer

Printed and published by the Acting Returning Officer, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ

STATEMENT OF PERSONS NOMINATED

Central Bedfordshire Council Election of Parish Councillors

The following is a statement of the persons nominated for election as a Parish Councillor for Maulden
(Maulden Parish Council Election 2015)

Name of Candidate Home Address Description (if any) Name of Proposer (*), Seconder (**) and Assentors Reason why no longer nominated*
ALI Saqhib Ijthehad 17 Swan Road, Wixams, MK42 6BW Former Resident Former Maulden School Governor Ives Paul A * Barnes Simon **
BALL Roger Ian 68 Flitwick Road, Maulden, Bedford, MK45 2BJ Ives Paul A * Ball Carla J **
BARNES Simon 2 Wheatlands Close, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2AG  Ives Paul A * Barnes Ceri J **
BROWN Eileen Mary Reeley Farm, Flitwick Road, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2BH Galler Lynda M * Galler Malcolm D**
CHEADLE Billy  Wingfield Avenue, Maulden, Bedford, MK45 2DU Independent Garner Ronald C * Sheppard Hazel M **
IVES Paul Anthony 1 Snow Hill, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2BP Barnes Simon * Gibb William A.G. **
NEWNAM Buster 1 Wheatlands Close, Maulden, Bedford, Beds, MK45 2AQ Barnes Simon * Barnes Ceri J **
RICHARDSON Michael Paul 1 Silsoe Road, Maulden, Bedfordshire, MK45 2AX Spoor Gordon * Spoor Kathleen **
SUMMERFIELD Stephen James The Gables, Hillfarm, Flitwick Rd, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2BJ Brown Eileen M * Brown Colin C **
TATE Chris Duck End Cottage, 15 Duck End Lane, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2DL Galler Malcolm D * Galler Lynda M **
TUCKER Jenny 69 George St, Maulden, Bedfordshire, MK45 2DD Lockey Howard J * Lockey Barbara E **
WALKER Jayne Elizabeth 57 Flitwick Road, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2BJ Coote Faye M * Hallam Anne **
WOODWARD Brian John 36 Clophill Rd, Maulden, Beds, MK45 2AA Northwood Daphne C * Stapleton Josephine M **

 

Dated Friday 10 April 2015
Richard Carr Acting Returning Officer

Printed and published by the Acting Returning Officer, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ

The persons above, where no entry is made in the last column, have been and stand validly nominated.

The Kingswood in spring.

Many people are aware of Maulden Woods and the Duck End nature reserve, quite probably, because they are all within a five-minute walk of easy parking. The Kingswood demands a little more walking, most of it uphill, to get there from anywhere in the village.

Situated right on the crest of the Greensand Ridge, it marks the visual boundary between Maulden and the Bedford levels on one side, of the farms of Ampthill on another, and of Houghton Conquest on the 3rd side.

The Kingswood, Bedfordshire

It is a truly ancient woodland, and is listed in all of the national registers.

The reserve is an important area of ancient semi-natural woodland.  Some maps are tempted to suggest that it is in Houghton Conquest, while others put it squarely in Maulden. I’m happy to agree that we share it.

Additional information about the reserve is available from the Greensand Trust.

This magnificent wood and its history can be traced back before the 15th century. An intriguing variety of trees and flowers can be found in the wood.

This is my favourite time of year to visit it, and to spend a solid hour enjoying the site and scent of the most astonishing carpet of bluebells interspersed with the flowers of Anemone and the Goldilocks Buttercup.

At their best early in the morning, or late in the evening as the low light brings out the colour best.

I would encourage you all to make the trek up from The Brache, hop over the stile, then proceed following the Greensand Ridge Walk, through the farm, with a right turn before the bridge leads a path back to Ampthill. Continue uphill to the corner of the woods and see and experience this for yourselves.

Maulden Cow
Maulden Cow

The more adventurous can hike over the top of the hill and enjoy a drink and a meal at the Knife And Cleaver , before walking home. Just don’t leave it too late: on one memorable occasion, our walk home was interrupted by a very angry badger.

 Images

All of these images are “click through” to a larger size (and click on the (+) to see them at full screen. 

Maulden Society of Gardeners.

MAULDEN SOCIETY OF GARDENERS

The Trading Hut, Moor Lane

HISTORY

The first Committee meeting was held on 8th May 1972. The society came about because the Parish Council had resolved to sell the allotments. It is not entirely clear why but it is believed that this had something to do with the Bowling Green in some way – quite what that was has been lost in the mists of time. A meeting was called. The allotment holders who were concerned to try and prevent this sale and thereby lose their allotments agreed that they should work together. They succeeded in stopping the sale of the allotments and then formed the Society to benefit its approximately 30 members by purchasing in bulk (and therefore saving money) the basic fertilisers, seed etc. that they needed. At first these items were weighed out on bathroom scales in a member’s garage.

The Parish Council granted £700 to the Society. The Society took over the tenancy of an allotment plot with permission to erect a Trading Hut. This was actually a wood and asbestos garage. The big chance came when they had the opportunity to purchase a “Prefab” from London for £1000. This “Prefab” is still used as the trading hut today although it has been altered considerably inside over time.

ETHOS

The ethos of the Society remains the same today. It is run by an elected Committee who buy in bulk and sell to its members as cheaply as possible. Volunteers help in the weighing out of products (we now have electronic scales especially for the purpose) and manning the counter when the Trading hut is open. So, overheads are kept to an absolute minimum although we do have to pay rent for the allotment the hut stands on, the electricity that is used, public liability insurance and the upkeep of the premises.

MEMBERSHIP

Anyone can belong to the Society – it is not for allotment holders or just for the inhabitants of Maulden alone. We have around 200 members who each pay £1.50 per year subscription. We are now essentially a mini garden centre selling a wide range of goods that gardeners may require. The products stocked expand over time as the need arises and we can usually find a product on our shelves to solve most gardening problems.

OPENING TIMES

We are open every Sunday morning from 10 am – 12 noon apart from a break of about a month during the period leading up to and including Christmas and the New Year. We also open on Friday evenings 7pm-8pm from the first week in April usually until about the end of June.

You are welcome to come down and have a look around to see if you could benefit from the products that we sell. Unfortunately we cannot offer you a cup of tea because we still do not have all mod cons i.e. no running water.

For further information please contact the Chairman: Alan Barnard on  403537.