Community Shopping Club Logo

Community Shopping Club

Community Shopping Club Logo
The Wixams & Wilstead Community Shopping Club has been set up to help support those in both communities who are required to self-isolate during the time of the Coronavirus outbreak. The club aims to coordinate a set of volunteers who are willing to carry out shopping or prescription collection on behalf of those in isolation.

Due to the very real risk of spreading the virus we have put together a comprehensive system which minimises human contact. It might seem excessive at first but we have considered the needs of everyone involved as best we can.

Prescription Collections

Along with shopping we will also collect prescriptions upon request. Please contact us as per the instructions below.

Client Instructions

To request help from the Community Shopping Club, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page, email is preferred.

When contacting us for help please ensure you include the following information:

  • Type of help required/shopping list.
  • Full name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address if possible (unless sent by email).

If you can use a Click and Collect service we urge you to do so. That will make the process much easier for everyone involved.

For shopping requests please follow the guidelines below:

  • We prefer shopping lists to be sent by email, either in text format or as a photo/scan.
  • You will be asked to pay us a deposit which will be a rough estimate of the value of your order.
  • Make sure your list is legible.
  • Add quantities, weights or volumes where appropriate.
  • Please keep your list to items which can be purchased from a large supermarket.

The volunteer will contact you directly to check the details of your request and to arrange drop off.

We will take payment via bank transfer, if you do not have online banking we ask that you contact someone you trust and ask if they can pay on your behalf. We will be able to take cheques in exceptional circumstances.

Volunteering Instructions

If you would like to volunteer, please contact us using the details further down the page, email is preferred. We will use the steps below to register you as a volunteer:

  1. We will reply to your email and send our Volunteer Guidelines.
  2. Read the guidelines and complete the included declaration form.
  3. Contact us when you are ready.
  4. We will knock on your door to collect the form (we won’t come in), we will need to check a form of ID and we can answer any question you have at that time.

The last step is important, we will personally meet every volunteer as the protection of the clients is crucial.

Please note, for security reasons we are asking that volunteers pay for shopping themselves and they will be re-reimbursed from our own bank account once the receipt had been sent and delivery confirmed. We have recommended that Click and Collect services are used where possible which simplifies the process.

Contact Details

Please contact us by email or phone (email is preferred):

shoppingclub@wixams.org

07929 656674 Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm

Stay Informed

We will be updating this page as we get new information and using our Facebook page to share updates:

fb.me/CommunityShoppingClub

 

Summer Flower Event Flyer

Summer Flower Planting Morning

Following on from the success of our Spring Bulb Planting morning back in November, we’re now planning our next gardening event which will be a Summer Flowering Planting morning!

We believe that gardening is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy mind and body. Whether it’s growing flowers and plants to make your surroundings look beautiful, or growing fruit and veg to add to your meals, gardening can be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

To inspire the next generation of nature lovers we’re inviting everyone to come along on a Saturday morning, likely in May or June, where we’ll work together to plant some flowers to create a beautiful display for the summer. We will divide everyone into groups again and we’ll have different plants ready at each flower bed for everyone to put into some pre-prepared holes with plenty of lovely compost.

Date to be announced

If you’d like to be one of the first to know the date when we announce it, please join our Facebook group or add your email to our newsletter list at the bottom of the page.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus we may not be able to hold this event as planned, we’ll update this page when we have more news.

G-Park Birds Eye View - Annotated

G-Park Planning Application – UPDATED

UPDATE 1: The deadline for comments on the G-Park planning application has now passed. A total of 114 objections to the proposal were submitted by residents. The decision on the application will be made by the planning team at Bedford Borough Council on 17th March. We will update this page with news when we have it.

UPDATE 2: Bedford Borough Council are still awaiting a formal view from the Highways Team so the decision cannot be made until that is complete.

Bedford Borough Council (BBC) planning committee have received an application for the building of 3 large warehouses on the land north of Watson Road, the road which currently serves Wilstead Industrial Park. As with all planning applications, the public has the right to voice their support or opposition to the proposals. We have created this information page so you can:

  • Understand what is being proposed.
  • Learn how you can take action if you wish to.

G Park Birds Eye View - Annotated

Planning Committees are legally obliged to consider views from the public in their decision making so we encourage residents to take the time to leave comments.

What is Being Built?

Planning application 19/02724/MAR is for:

Approval of all reserved matters (appearance, landscaping, layout, scale and access) for three employment units (Use Class B8 with ancillary office floorspace) pursuant to Outline permission 19/01137/MAO. | Land North Of Watson Road Wilstead Bedfordshire’.

G Park Plan Annotated

Details of the units to be built (source: Design & Access Statement – 19 02724 MAR V60.pdf):

  • Mostly warehouse space with attached offices
  • A total of 49,803 m2 (536,079 ft2) building space
  • 10.62 hectares (26.23 acres) total site area
  • Each building is 18.15 metres tall
  • Within 90 metres of the nearest home
  • Parking for 318 cars
  • Parking for 115 HGVs
  • 24/7 operating hours
  • Access provided from the A6 via The Causeway

Other Warehouses in Wixams

There are already a number of warehouses either built, being built or planned for Wixams:

  • Wilstead Industrial Park contains over a dozen warehouses/units.
  • Three new 24/7 units are currently being completed in Wilstead Ind. Park totalling 15,739 m2 (169,400 ft2) with parking for 161 cars and 113 HGVs (source: Wilstead Industrical Park Brochure). These units have no currently planned occupiers. RED
  • The B&M warehouse is now operational, it totals 91,000 m2 (979,515 ft2) (source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43825804). PURPLE
  • A new Aldi distribution centre is to be built close to the B&M warehouse, its buildings will total 78,857 m2 (848,809 ft2) and it will have parking for 611 cars and 229 HGV loading docks (source: Planning Application 17 02657 MAR). YELLOW
  • 5 new units are to be built north of Fisherwood Road totalling 7,358 m2 (79,203 ft2) and will have parking for 109 vehicles (source: Planning Application 19 02398 MAF) ORANGE

This gives a total of around 250,000 m2 (2.7M ft2) of warehouse/unit space.

Wixams Northern Area Map With Units - Annotated

Possible Concerns

Whilst job opportunities for residents should always be welcomed, there are some potential concerns which could be raised regarding the building of these units. We have outlined a few issues below which the public might want to consider.

Obstructed Views

The three units are planned to be built on land which is currently open space and offers views across the Marston Vale. If built, these warehouses will be highly visible when entering Wixams via The Causeway, to residents as they move within the village along Brooklands Avenue and Bedford Road, and the biggest impact would be to those whose homes look directly onto the site. The closest unit will be within 90 metres of the closest home and will be over 18 metres tall.

G-Park View From Brooklands AnnotatedRelated articles:

Building Design

The style of the proposed warehouses matches many huge warehouses around the country such as near Junction 13 of the M1 and is designed to reduce its impact from a distance. When compared to the brand new houses, the greenery on Bedford Road and the nearby lake, this type of building will dominate the landscape and significantly impact the visual appeal of this part of Wixams.

Privacy

The offices of Unit 3 are alongside Bedford Road, this means any home visible from the building will be overlooked by workers in those offices.

Traffic and Road Usage

All the units and warehouses listed above are accessed from the A6 via The Causeway. In the last few weeks there has been a significant amount of damage to this road and the main roundabout to Bedford Road possibly due to the increased HGV use since the opening of the B&M warehouse. There have also been comments made by the public regarding the noise made by HGVs accessing the industrial area at night. As more units are planned and built these issues are going to get worse.

Road Safety

The areas around Brooklands Avenue, Fisherwood Road and Bedford Road towards Elstow are often busy with pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers. The more vehicles using these roads the less safe these areas become.

Noise and Light Pollution

With the existing and planned warehouses in Wixams being mainly for distribution it’s likely that we will see a huge number of HGVs travelling around the north of Wixams spewing a lot of pollution. The proximity of this site to residential areas including the Wixams Retirement Village means that pollution levels in that area will certainly be made worse, causing damage to the environment and posing a health risk to wildlife and residents.

With 24/7 operating hours there will also be an increase in the light projected externally from the warehouses toward neighbouring homes.

House Prices

The Causeway is one of the main access points into Wixams and will be the route taken by many when visiting Wixams to view properties. Along with the existing warehouses such as B&M and in Wilstead Industrial Park, these three units might change the initial impressions of potential house buyers and may dissuade them from buying, negatively impacting property prices.

Empty Warehouses

It’s unknown at this stage whether there are already businesses lined up to fill these three new units. However, the three units currently being completed adjacent to Seasons were built without planned tenants. There are other warehouses in the Borough which are built and remain empty, such as next to the A421 towards Junction 13 and the A428 near Kempston.

By planning in this manner the decision as to what types of businesses might invest in Wixams is being made by the landowners not by businesses themselves. There are already concerns that the Borough is being covered in warehouses as well as the areas close to Junction 13.

Warehouse Jobs

The typical jobs made available in warehouses are picking and packing along with administrative and other associated roles. Picking and packing jobs are normally low paid with current market rates at around £17,000 per year for full time employment. With the average house prices in Wixams being over £300,000 (source: www.zoopla.co.uk/house-prices/wixams/) it’s less likely that many of these jobs will be filled by residents. This would mean that employees will need to travel into Wixams from elsewhere and Wixams’ residents will be forced to seek employment outside, causing more congestion, noise, damage and pollution.

Business Incubator Units

It was originally planned that Wixams would be built with a set of 16 Business Incubator Units which are designed to help startup companies. These units typically offer a set of facilities including office space, a phone line and broadband internet connection, meeting rooms and also experts to support new business owners. These facilities are often offered for free for a period but are typical cheap to rent after the free period finishes. The units planned for Wixams were to range in size from 25-100 m2.

To help with the meeting of a schools funding gap, the requirement to build the incubator units was removed, meaning startup businesses in Wixams are not able to take advantage of these facilities (source: Planning Application 15 03039 S106). There are no plans to offer a replacement for the incubator units which would help local businesses to get started and to help them build successful enterprises.

How to Take Action

If you would like to leave comments supporting or opposing the building of these new units you are encouraged to do so using the official channels provided by Bedford Borough Council. Please ensure you include the Planning Application Reference 19/02724/MAR.

Please read the Council’s guidance on planning application comments: www.bedford.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-applications/comment-on-planning-applications/

We also recommend reading the following blog to help you if you’d like to object to this proposal: Martin Goodall’s Planning Law Blog

By email

Send your email to planning@bedford.gov.uk

Online

  1. Visit the planning applications search page: www.bedford.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-applications/search-plans-page/
  2. Click the button View and comment on planning applications
  3. Enter the Application Reference: 19/02724/MAR and click the Search button
  4. You can review the associated documents under the Documents tab if required (19 02724 MAR V60.pdf is recommended)
  5. Follow the instructions under the Comments tab to create an account and leave your comment
  6. To oppose this application select Object as both the Stance and the Reason for comment.

By Post

Write to:

Planning Services, Bedford Borough Council,
4th Floor, Borough Hall,
Cauldwell Street,
Bedford,
MK42 9AP

Community Meeting

We will be hosting a meeting to discuss this planning application and give extra guidance on how to respond to it on Wednesday 22nd January at 8pm, all are welcome to attend.

We held a community meeting on 22nd January which was very well attended. The residents were all given an opportunity to share their concerns and to ask questions. The main points identified from this meeting:

  • Please try to respond on as many points as possible to make it more likely your comments will be factored in. You can find the BBC Material Planning Considerations document here: BBC-Material-Planning-Considerations.pdf
  • As part of the wider problems with road usage please suggest an alternative route is found for access to the industrial areas, such as via the road leading to the gravel area, as illustrated here: Wixams-Industrial-Traffic-Possible-Link-Road.png
  • Don’t forget to mention that there should be more provisions for community facilities in the S106. If you could mention skateparks for the teenagers that would be really helpful for an upcoming project we have planned.
  • If you’d like to take this matter further with one of our elected representatives their details are:
  • Cllr. Coombes would like to be CC’d into any correspondence.
  • Don’t forget to encourage friends, family and neighbours to respond by sharing, emailing, texting, tweeting or talking.

Stay in Touch

We would like to hear your views on this planning application and others. Please use the Contact page or join our Facebook group to get in touch with us.

We have taken great care to ensure the contents of this page are accurate, if you find a mistake please contact us so we can rectify it.

Wixams Christmas Competition Prize

Christmas Decorations Competition 2019

The 2019 Wixams Christmas Decorations Competition is now complete and we’re very pleased to announce the winning home further down the page. Every year in Wixams we see a lot of nicely decorated houses and our judges were very impressed by the fantastic array of styles on display this year.

All the Wixams Community Group projects are led by at least one of our committee members. This project was a joint effort by Cecilia and Karin, well done to them both for their hard work in putting together an excellent competition.

Some thank yous

The biggest thank you (again) goes to Michelle and her team at Budgens in Wixams for donating all the goodies for our prize, we could not run the competition without their support and generosity. Thank you again to Amanda for putting together the great Christmas themed hamper for our winners. All the wonderful photos of the houses below were all taken by Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who gave up a lot of his time to help us, especially because of the bad weather of late. And finally we’d like to thank our judges Barbara, Saqhib, Trish, Margaret and Richard.

The prize

Our winners have already received their hamper containing gin, wines, beer, chocolates, a panettone, tea, coffee, snacks and more:

Wixams Christmas Competition Prize

The Runners-Up

We didn’t have a prize for second place but the home of our runners-up was so beautifully decorated we wanted to share it with you. Well done for such a fantastic effort.

Christmas Decorations Competition 2019 - Runners-Up

The Winners

Many congratulations go to this winning home on Brooklands Avenue. You can tell this family love Christmas and when Santa Claus is flying over Wixams, their home will be the first he sees! We are sure this house gives a lot of happiness to the kids that walk by each day. We hope their prize will help make Christmas even more special 🥂

Christmas Decorations Competition 2019 - Winners

Other finalists

Here are some photos of the other great contenders in this competition. We’d like to thank everyone who took part for helping to make our village a fun and festive place this Christmas 🎅🏻

Spring Bulb Planting Morning – UPDATED

UPDATE – Please scroll to the bottom for some recent photos of our spring flowers now starting to bloom

With around 80 people taking part in our Spring Bulb Planting Morning, we’re very pleased to say that this project was an even bigger success than we had dared hope for. There were a wide range of ages, from toddlers right up to our lovely friends from the Wixams Retirement Village; it was wonderful to see different generations working together to make sure the bulbs were happy in their new homes. In the spring we’ll see the fruits of our work when those beautiful flowers start to bloom and add a splash of colour to Wixams.

We had some great comments from parents and the kids seemed to really enjoy the experience. Gardening is very rewarding, it can also be therapeutic for some, so we hope to have inspired a few of our residents to enjoy nature at a very young age.

There are some important Thank Yous down below but a special thank you needs to go to Karin who planned the whole thing and shared a huge amount of gardening advice, in order to give this project the best possible chance of success. Karin is a very hard working lady and she gave up a lot of her own time on this project and did the most physical work in the prep sessions.

We’re incredibly proud to say that this event was even featured in the Bedford Independent!

You can have a have a read about this project below or skip to the bottom for some wonderful photos from the event.

Preparation

There was a lot of preparatory work required to get this project off the ground. Over the last few months a few members of the Wixams Gardening Group have been meeting fortnightly to prepare the areas for planting. This started with a lot of weeding, removing of dead shrubs and we then moved a lot of the grasses from the areas next to the Village Hall to create a nice border. Finally, the day before the event we met one last time to loosen the soil and to dig out the holes for the bulbs to go in.

You can see some great before and after shots of the prep work on the Wixams Gardening Group page.

The event

We invited everyone to arrive at 10 am whereupon we gave them a little brief, some instructions and then sent them off to our 5 planting areas where they got stuck right in, rather enthusiastically in some cases! In the holes they added some compost, then the bulbs, more compost on top and finally they filled the holes back in.

There were 5 main areas in which we worked:

Spring Bulb Planting Map
Map of the 5 areas where we planted bulbs

In areas 1-3 we planted tulips and daffodils in alternating (hopefully) rows, daffodils in area 4 and crocuses in area 5.

Altogether we planted around 1000 bulbs!

Some thank yous

The event could not have gone ahead without some very busy people giving up their time to help us. As well as the thanks to Karin, huge thank you also goes to Adriana for her help on the prep sessions, ordering the bulbs and for creating the lovely fliers and content for the Wixams Newsletter. We’d like to thank everyone else who has helped preparing the ground for this event, including a special mention to Curly for his hard work and positive spirit.

Thanks go to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for all the hard work taking and editing the excellent photos. Thank you Paula and Sheila for providing the much needed refreshments and biscuits for our participants on the day. We’d like to also thank our friends from the Wixams Walkers who helped us run the day and showed everyone where they needed to plant the bulbs. The Wixams Community Group would like to send a big thank you to Colin and the rest of the Lakeview Village Hall Committee for funding this project.

Finally, we’d like to thank every single person who came out to take part in this event. By working together we have achieved something wonderful which will make people smile as they walk past our flowers next year.

Free gifts for all participants

The planting didn’t stop at just the event itself, we gave out a small bag of daffodil bulbs to everyone who took part. We hope they’ll enjoy putting them into their own gardens and it will remind them of their contribution to the Wixams community.

Spring Bulb Planting Box of Gifts

There were 66 bags, each with around 20 bulbs inside…

That’s another 1300 bulbs!

Press Coverage

This project has been covered by the Bedford Independent, you can find the story here: www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/wixams-residents-spring-into-action-at-bulb-planting-event/

Photos

Here’s some of the great photos from before and during this event, and of a clever little robin looking for food after everyone had left.

Spring is Here

It’s been a very wet winter and due to the clay soil Wixams is built on we had some real concerns about whether our bulbs would survive. We’re very please to show some recent photos and it looks like many of our flowers are strong fighters!

 

Halloween Comp Winners 2

Halloween Decorations Competition 2019

The very first Halloween Decorations Competition was a resounding success, with dozens of houses around Wixams covered in a wide range of spooky props. We saw many skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, witches (including a set of legs poking out of a cauldron), ghosts, grave stones, light shows and a lot of excellently carved pumpkins. Wixams has already become famous for getting into the Halloween spirit (pun intended) so everyone should give themselves a pat on the back for helping to create a fantastic community-led event.

Some thank yous

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Michelle at Budgens in Wixams for donating the prize for this competition, she was super helpful throughout and Budgens have been very generous. Another big thank you goes to my sister Amanda who did a fantastic job of putting all the prize items into a great Halloween themed hamper. We’d also like to thank Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who came along with the judges and took some excellent photos for us. Finally, a big thank you goes to the judges who took a few hours of their time to help us select a shortlist and then covered a few thousand steps so we could pick the winner. Thank you Cecilia, Barbara, Saqhib, Trish, Paula, Karin and Adriana 🙏🏼

The prize

We put together a bumper hamper of goodies for our winners, including drinks, chocolates, snacks and more…

Halloween Hamper 2019

The winners also received a trophy, ‘Scariest House in Wixams 2019’, which they can show off for years to come!

And the winner is…

We’re pleased to announce the winning home is the colourful house on Brooklands Avenue. The judges were very impressed by the variety of spooky items on display, lots of cobwebs and the overall impact of the lights display. A big congratulations goes to them and we hope they enjoy their prize.

Halloween Comp Winners 1 Halloween Comp Winners 2

Other contenders

There were a lot of fantastic homes to choose from this year, the judges really were split in deciding the winner. Here are some photos of a few of the other contenders we considered and some other great scenes on display:

Wixams Tree Survey Featured Image

Wixams Tree Survey

The Wixams Gardening Group are currently liaising with Bedford Borough Council’s Tree Officer to try and get the dead trees in Wixams replaced. As the majority of trees here have all been planted in the last decade, we have many more dead trees than you’d find in a more established community.

To help our community with this task we’ve created the map below which we’re adding to when we find new dead trees. BBC have access to this map and they’ve already made a start on replacing some of them.

  • Blue marker – To be replaced
  • Green marker – Replaced by BBC

Would you like to help?

If you see a dead tree on public land near your home which isn’t already marked on the map, please follow the steps below to let us know:

1. Find the tree on Google Maps, right click on the exact spot and then select ‘What’s Here?’.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 1

2. A box will appear with some information, click the coordinates. The coordinates in the example below are ‘52.091864, -0.460795’.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 2

3. A sidebar will appear, highlight the coordinates and copy them.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 3

4. Send the coordinates to us using the contact form (select Wixams Community Group) and we’ll add that spot to the map for BBC to see, that’s it!

 

WGNG Logo

Wixams Good Neighbour Group

If you need help at home, in the garden, with shopping or occasional lifts, the Wixams Good Neighbour Group is here to help!

We have a dedicated team of volunteers who are ready to offer you assistance in a great range of ways:

  • Lifts to the Doctors/Hospital/Opticians/Pharmacy etc.
  • Prescription collection
  • Help with shopping
  • Pet care/dog walking
  • Form filling/letter writing
  • Small household or garden tasks
  • Help with using technology or computers
  • Even just someone to talk to

Please get in touch with us today to see if we can help:

Volunteers needed!

With the recent opening of the Wixams Retirement Village we’re already seeing an increase in calls and emails from people needing help. So we can continue to say “Yes!” when people call we’re going to need some more volunteers.

Being a Good Neighbour simply means that when someone has a request, you’re one of many that will be contacted to see if you can help them. If you can then great, if not then hopefully someone else can. You’re never asked to do anything you don’t want to and you decide when you’re available.

If you’d like to become a volunteer or just want to find out more, please get in touch with us using the detail above.

 

Plantlife Wildflower Verge

A6 Wildflowers

You might have seen the recent BBC news story about wildflowers grown on the side of main roads: Why are England’s roadsides blooming? This led us to setting up a new project where we’re hoping bring some beauty to the stretch of the A6 alongside Wixams.

Wixams Birdeye Wildflowers Marker

For this project we will be getting in touch with the campaign behind this story, led by Plantlife. We want to learn the best way to move forward before contacting Bedford Borough Council. We would like them to devote the entire verge from Southern Cross to The Causeway along the A6 to wildflowers, saving the council money and providing a habitat for the bees, butterflies and other creatures.

You can learn more inspiring stories from the Plantlife site but we’re sure you’ll agree of the importance of protecting our wildlife. If you want to help out then please join in the conversation via our Facebook group and Twitter account. It’s important to us that your voice is heard.

Wixams Walkers Logo

Wixams Walkers

As part of our ongoing efforts to bring the community together, we run the Wixams Walkers group, part of the national Walking for Health scheme. The group is aimed at all ages and abilities and simply gives an opportunity for residents to get some exercise, meet people and to explore parts of Wixams they might not yet have seen.

Wixams Walkers meets each Saturday at 10, in front of Seasons Garden Centre on Bedford Road. After each walk, all are invited into Seasons for a cuppa.

Routes

There are currently 4 main routes in and around Wixams which are all around 2 miles /3 km and take 45 minutes to an hour:

  • Three Lakes – Around the three lakes north of Wixams and the retirement village
  • Three Lakes and a Pond – A route around the lakes within Wixams itself, and a pond
  • Southern Trail – Follows the walkway around the south side of Wixams
  • Duck End Lane – To the end of Duck End Lane in Wilstead where there are lovely landscapes

Excursions

During the summer, we will be exploring more of Bedfordshire by walking in the local country parks. In July we visited Woburn Abbey Deer park, a beautiful open space which is home to 9 species of deer. We also visited Millennium Country Park in August and Priory Country Park in September.

Stay in Touch

You can stay up to date with our plans on our Facebook page or you can get in touch using the Contact page (select Wixams Community Group).