A property developer has agreed to foot the bill to reinstate a decorative feature in Great Denham after a miscommunication led to it being demolished.
David Wilson Homes (DWH) had the responsibility to present the roads and adjoining areas for adoption by the local authority as per the original plans – some of which are decades old.
One of the areas in Great Denham contained an appealing and environmentally friendly feature, enjoyed by the local community. Another site was where local children placed remembrance poppies.
However, the original plans showed the areas as being block paved.
On 21 March, Cllr Jim Weir (Conservative, Kempston Rural) shared photos on his Facebook page of the demolition of the area.
He told the Bedford Independent: “Where all these [plans] fail is that between the original planned development and the passage of time things like this and the “Tommy memorial” get added within the community.
“There appears to be no mechanism to alert local Parish Councils or ward councillors, the extent of the work to be carried out by the developers’ contractors.
“One of the areas is where the children of Great Denham Primary school dedicated their sculpted poppies on Remembrance Sunday.
“In summary it is an example of everyone thinking they were doing the right thing, but a bit of common sense would have gone a long way.”
Thankfully, common sense has indeed prevailed.
A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said: “Following discussions with the local ward councillor, Parish Council and the site developer in Great Denham, we have agreed that the area will be returned to its previous condition and the decorative feature and benches will be reinstated.”
The spokesperson confirmed that David Wilson Homes will foot the bill.
“To be fair the whole issue was brough about by a failure to communicate,” said Cllr Weir.
“Once the community mobilised and the Parish Council and I chased this down, the response has been a victory for engagement and clear communication, and I have to say common sense.
“Whilst I also understand that there are processes and protocols that have to be followed by developers and Councils on this issue, I am grateful that the Council has given permission to reinstate and DWH have agreed to do so without costs falling on the community.
“I want to say thank you to Council Officers and Directors at DWH for engaging and responding so quickly.
“It goes without saying a big shout out to the residents for their support and that of the Parish Council thank you.”