Charity is locked in battle with travellers over land use

Jim Jacobs, steward of the charity, says he is frustrated by the illegal encampment on the charity's land.

Jim Jacobs, steward of the charity, says he is frustrated by the illegal encampment on the charity's land.

1
Have your say

One of the largest charities in the Harborough area is locked in a frustrating battle with travellers who are refusing to leave its land.

The problem is not a new one for the Market Harborough and The Bowdens Charity, as it has successfully removed unauthorised camps over the years.

But on this occasion, the travellers have refused to take any notice of the signs asking them to move off the land on Langton Road just north of Great Bowden near the A6.

Not only have they refused to move but they have even taken the signs down and broken down fences since they moved there in May.

Jim Jacobs, steward of the charity, said impacts on the charity will have a detrimental effect on Market Harborough as a whole.

He added: “We are very annoyed and frustrated.

“The land is leased and we are losing money on the land because we cannot take rent from it at the moment.”

The charity can employ bailiffs but that would involve a fairly lengthy process and cost the charity money.

A big community project is currently planned for the site, with an avenue of oak trees set to be planted there.

And the land is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an important wetland, with a wide variety of important fauna and flora.

Mr Jacobs added: “That’s the reason we acquired the land so we could protect it for the benefit of the town. We are worried that might be damaged.

“It is a waste of our admin time and is costing us money.”

The Market Harborough and The Bowdens Charity is an endowed charity, and holds investments in land and property, housing, equities and cash. Income from the charity’s investments is used to provide public benefit in areas such as education, environment, heritage and sport.