Titchmarsh Parochial Church Council submitted its formal Representation to the Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF)on 13th August.
The full document is available to read at https://titchmarsh.info/virus_updates/save-the-glebe-land-august-update/ .
The Representation looked at:
- the current situation of the church and church community in the village of Titchmarsh and the work of the church here over the last 30 years or so;
- the likely impact on the local church, and its relationships with the local community and the Diocese, of a decision to proceed with an Option sale;
- the current position of the glebe land in relation to the Local Plan and formal planning guidance;
- environmental and climate considerations relevant to the site and any development on it.
The Representation’s conclusions are:
- Titchmarsh PCC can see no merit and much negative and destructive potential in the Diocese’ proposal to enter into an Option Agreement for a period of 10 years with IM Properties to promote 114 acres of Glebe Land for development.
- Should an Option Agreement be signed, the PCC can see no prospect of its concerns regarding Titchmarsh glebe land being taken into account.
- The way in which the development option has been devised and presented means that the PCC has no option other than to request that the Diocese reverses its decision and withdraws the proposed Option sale.
- Should the Diocese decide to proceed with the sale of the Option as currently envisaged, Titchmarsh PCC will, in conjunction with the local community, leave no stone unturned in its efforts to block any development on the site.
Clearly the strength of the arguments and concerns exhibited both in the Representation and in all the thoughtful letters to Bishop Donald has had an impact. This week we heard that the DBF has asked the Bishop to give it guidance on how the Board might progress matters. Bishop Donald has suggested that:
- the proposed sale should be put on hold pending a review of the environmental and social considerations;
- the review should involve a new process, perhaps a new committee, within the DBF, to ensure such considerations are borne in mind when future land sales are being considered as well as for the Titchmarsh and Thrapston glebe land;
- the review should not be a matter of stalling, or kicking into long grass; it should be thorough but quick as possible; the decision to sell should be confirmed or reversed within a few months.
It is possible that the DBF will ignore the Bishop’s guidance but we think it unlikely. So, a step in the right direction. Be assured, the PCC will be keeping a close eye on what is going on and will keep up the pressure!
With many thanks for your efforts and continuing support.