Wixams Sign

The new village of Wixams spreads over the Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council boundary, and this is causing issues for both residents and ward councillors, a meeting heard.

Councillor Rebecca Hares (Independent, Central Bedfordshire Council) raised her concerns over cross-boundary issues, at the Wixams Joint Development Control Committee on Tuesday (November 2) and suggested a collaboration.

We’ve got a joint committee with planning.

Perhaps we could investigate ways we can work together in the future for cross-boundary issues that arise in Wixams,” she said.

Jonathan Warner (principle planner at Bedford Borough Council) said: “I think in terms of cross boundary issues going forward we can certainly have a discussion around how we can address that.

It is a common issue, but certainly separate from this development control committee.

Debbie Quinn (senior planning officer at Central Bedfordshire Council) added: “Just recently, we had a few issues with direct relation to where the properties are, and how we support the residents accessing education, public transport and things like that.

So whilst it’s not technically a material planning consideration, I feel like if it’s not factored into the planning permissions and things like that, then it’s very difficult to follow up on it afterwards.

Particularly when residents of Bedford Borough can’t get hold of their representatives and are coming across the boundary.

Then we’re very limited in how we [Central Bedfordshire] can support and how we can offer that help.

So if we have a little bit more collaboration across all of the aspects of Wixams, then I feel like the representation would be more robust, I suppose,” she said.