Diocesan pushes ahead with land sale

Despite objections from Titchmarsh parish residents, the Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance voted in December to proceed with the sale of 114 acres of glebe farmland.

In an emergency meeting last July, the St Mary’s Parochial Church Council in Titchmarsh unanimously voted to formally object to the diocese’s proposed sale with a 10-year development option for light industry.

owever, they were unable to alter the fate of the glebe land due to a change in ecclesiastical law, implemented in 2018.

Stephen Barber, lay chair of the PCC, remarked on the profound impact that the sale could potentially have on the lives of the local community. “We will be very robust in our response to the Diocese, but we also need to mobilise wider village support against this massively inappropriate proposal.”

The Clerk to Titchmarsh Parish Council updated the Oundle Town Council in an email, expressing their frustration. “The letter announcing the decision makes no reference to any of the arguments put forward by the PCC, gives no information about how the review was conducted or how such a review might be applied in future. It just reiterates that the money is indeed to fund clergy in deprived areas. It would appear that nothing was going to shift them from the fait accompli presented to us in July.”

The diocesan board has appointed IM Properties to take the scheme through the planning process. The Titchmarsh council said it is prepared to robustly counter any planning application that is brought forward.

Matthew Atkin
May 2021