Sandy celebration for estate improvement project

News – 11 November

The Sandy community have come together to celebrate their first Pride of Place Day, the culmination of a seven-year project to improve the Winchester Road estate.

The event, which was hosted by Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) at the Jenkins Pavillion in Sandy, saw the local community drop in for tea and a chat with their local councillors, Bedfordshire Fire and Police services and Grand Union Housing Group.

This came after a waste amnesty in the morning, which saw Grand Union colleagues along with CBC’s environment team, gathering bulky waste in the area, clearing fly-tipping, and collecting unwanted furniture, bikes and household items suitable for the council’s reuse shop at Thorn Turn.

Grand Union have been working with CBC and Sandy Town Council for almost seven years on a project to improve the look of the area and ensure it’s a safer environment for the community.

This has resulted in the demolition of a number of unused garages and overgrown and crumbling brick planters. In their place are an additional 85 parking spaces which will resolve the issues of cars parking on grass verges.

Footways and drainage improvements have taken place and the area’s biodiversity is also being improved. As well as the planting of new trees, hedgerows and ground cover, Grand Union also installed 12 swift boxes across the estate.

These boxes, which are installed just below the guttering, are specifically designed for swifts to safely  nest in and will allow for their numbers to hopefully grow after declining in recent years.

This comes just after we published our Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which highlights how we will change the way we manage and invest in our homes and estates for good.

Doug Grace, Director of Property Services at Grand Union, said: “After nearly seven years’ collaborative work between Grand Union, Central Bedfordshire Council and Sandy Town Council, it was great to see the local community coming together on the Pride of Place Day.

“One of Grand Union’s goals is to build stronger communities and so we’re delighted with how well this project has gone.”

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services said: “Our Pride of Place Day was a huge success. With our officers and partners out in the community it meant we spoke to lots of residents about a variety of topics important to them. Our teams also carried out a waste amnesty to make the area tidy. We are confident our Sandy residents will see a marked improvement in the area.

“We have also received positive feedback from residents on the changes made so far, praising the teams for creating the parking spaces needed to prevent dangerous parking on the grass verges.”