Bidwell West Community to Appoint Residents to Management Committee

A Community Association for Bidwell West aims to be non-party political and non-sectarian.

The Bidwell West Community Association held an information meeting last 
week (26th January 2022) at Dunstablians Rugby Club, Bedford Road. Around 75 residents attended the meeting. 

A presentation and information digest was shown at last week's meeting and is also available to download from the association's website.

Residents are in the early stages of establishing a community association for Bidwell West. The Interim Management Committee had been working together to help launch the association since July 2021, and this was their first information meeting for all residents.

Nominations for the Management Committee was opened on Wednesday 26th January and closes on Wednesday 9th February. Nominations must be
sent in writing to either, or the Bidwell West Facebook page as a message. To apply, please provide your name, development name, and short reason why you want to be a member. This will be shared publicly with residents after nominations have closed.

The AGM will be held at 6:30pm on Wednesday 9th March at the Dunstablians Rugby Club where the Management Committee will be appointed.

Progress on the Developments

Progress on the school: The land transfer is currently being progressed via the Central Bedfordshire Council’s legal team. Once this is complete, the design process will take place.

How many homes are occupied?: The consortium says that 517 dwellings were occupied at the start of January.

Timescales on the urban park, sports pitches: The sports pitches have been constructed. The formal park is under construction. The pavilion for the sports pitches is due to be submitted as a planning application. Once the elements are complete, they will be owned and maintained for 12 months before being transferred to Houghton RegisTown Council.

Download a larger image from the association's website. Meeting Files

Play areas across the development: A planning agreement identifies that no more than 75% of a housebuilder parcel will be occupied before the play area within the parcel is completed. No parcel has yet reached 75%. The Bellway parcel is close to this trigger point and Bellway expect to install the play area in March/April 2022.

Dog bins: There is a request for bins/dog bins to be installed before the area is adopted by CBC. The last road sections are expected to be under agreement by the end of the financial year. There is then a 24 month maintenance period before final adoption. Once adopted, the provision of bins will be considered by CBC.

Public transport: The bus service provision went out to tender before Christmas. An hourly bus service from Grant Palmer is due to start on Monday 7th March, provisionally  Monday to Saturday and a 2 hourly service on Sunday. 

Bus route: will be Bidwell West - Houghton Regis - Dunstable - Luton. If the service is successful then there is scope to increase the frequency. All bus stops will have Green roof shelters with real-time displays. It is hoped they will be in place by the start of the service.

Local centre: This is on target for completion by December 2022. Units will be occupied by Co-op (the largest unit), The Codfather (fish & chips), one other unit is
under offer. Ashbourne children’s nursery has secured the nursery unit.

Bidwell West: is the emerging collective neighbourhood name encompassing the new developments in Houghton Hall ward of Houghton Regis. The Association will cover the area of Houghton Regis North 2 (HRN2), also known as Bidwell West, including all infill sites. This area is defined as within Bedford Road (B5120) to the east, Dunstable Northern Bypass (A5) to the north, Watling Street to the west and Houghton Regis Marl Lakes to the south (the “Area”).
The new management committee may decide to reconsider the name.

Council Tax banding appeals: To appeal the council tax banding Contact the VOA

Otherwise, contact CBC: Telephone: 0300 300 8306

The Bidwell West Community Association

The association is not a management company for the estate. It does aspire to be more than just dealing with issues and complaints, and aims to be proactive in organising events and groups, and working with local partners to disperse information, helping Bidwell West to be an amazing place to live.

David Skinner, a trustee of HRCDC, at last week's meeting, gave an introduction to the charity and their support of the community association. David is the minister of Houghton Regis Baptist Church, and in partnership with other churches helped establish the charity to ensure that the new development of Bidwell West would be more than just new houses, but a healthy, vibrant, thriving and inclusive place to live. HRCDC appointed Tim Haines in March 2021as Pioneer Community Worker to live on Bidwell West and work with residents to build community. HRCDC are also looking to deliver a substantial community centre resource at the heart of Bidwell West in partnership with residents.

Allotments and Public Events: Town Clerk of Houghton Regis Town Council gave a welcome and overview of the town council that organises many community events throughout the year which residents are very welcome to attend.

The Town Council also maintain the public open spaces in the area, and are working on delivering the first allotments in Houghton Regis on Bidwell West. 

Ward CBC Councillors: At last week's meeting were Cllr Susan Goodchild and Cllr Yvonne Farrell, ward councillors for Houghton Hall ward which includes Bidwell West. These two councillors are also members of the Houghton Regis Town Council. 

Ward Town Councillors: There are 6 town councillors for Houghton Hall ward. You can find their details here.

Cllr Susan Goodchild, said,  “I was delighted to receive an invitation to attend and was overwhelmed by the number of residents who attended. It provided a great opportunity for residents to get to know each other and hear more about the Residents Association and to be updated on the plans for the school, local centre and bus services.

“It was a defining moment to be in the space of such a special occasion.”

Cllr Yvonne Farrell commented, “I was asked by the  Chairman of Dunstablians RUFC when the new street lights will be activated and put to use along Bedford Road outside of the club.  I contacted Highways and received a reply from Clerk of Works - Highways instructing the team that it is a safety-critical item and requires immediate attention.  They are in the process of getting them energised then they will be inspected for signing off. Let there be light very soon.”

Interactive Map

Last week's meeting was shown an interactive zoomable map of the area compiled by Alan Winter: 

View this map at

DISCLAIMER. Alan Winter has commented, “I'm a layperson, and that is not an official map. I have drawn together some of my photography, links to local stories on Houghton Regis News Desk, drawn outlines of plots of land that have been subject to major planning applications, included local pathways, where the main supermarkets are, where the listed buildings are, and other points of interest. It's quite a pout pourri.”

“Central Beds Council has an official mapping system. This custom link will give you the latest and earlier plans. Inside their zoomable map, best viewed on a PC or larger screen, click on an area that you are interested in, and then scroll through the text. The reference numbers (CB/12/123456/FULL etc ) will take you directly to the plans on the CBC Planning portal (if available). It's not limited to planning. In the left-hand box, you can select other options (Highways, Education, Elections, etc)” - In the CBC map you can also find official information on Electoral, Education, Rights of Way etc.”

Ashwood Green, one of the Bidwell West area developments on Bedford Road.

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