‘Council dug up my land while I was on holiday’

Angry...John Rawlings stands where his border was before Harborough District Council removed his hedges and trees without permission.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Angry...John Rawlings stands where his border was before Harborough District Council removed his hedges and trees without permission. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A furious resident claims that builders instructed by Harborough District Council have “taken” about 260 square metres of his land while he was on holiday.

He says a ditch between his back field and a council-owned site has been filled in, and claims his hedge has been grubbed out and a mature ash tree on his land has been felled.

Angry...John Rawlings stands where his border was before Harborough District Council removed his hedges and trees without permission.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Angry...John Rawlings stands where his border was before Harborough District Council removed his hedges and trees without permission. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“The council has gone way beyond boundary markers that show the dividing line between their land and mine” claims Lubenham resident John Rawlings (pictured left).

“They have taken a strip of land that I believe is mine about four metres wide and 65 metres long.”

John says he has been in contact many times with the council about a boundary between his field in Lubenham, near Market Harborough, and a council-owned former garages site on Paget Road in the village.

He says he understood there would be a site meeting about the boundary when he returned from his holiday.

But when he got back this week, he found workmen had gone ahead with building work, clearing a strip of land he believes is his.

The Mail has seen an email from Mr Rawlings to the council from as long ago as August 2015 which asks for “clarification as to what measures will be taken to ensure the integrity of the present boundary line”.

He has also spoken to at least three different council officers about the matter.

“I’ve been completely and utterly ignored by the council, and I’m extremely angry about it,” said Mr Rawlings, who has lived in his Main Street house for 33 years, and owned the field for 24 years.

“My wife was in tears when she saw that the trees and the hedgerow had been destroyed.

“It definitely feels as if I’ve been taken advantage 
of.

“It feels like a council official has done what he felt he needed to do whilst I was away, knowing that once it’s done, my objections are too late.”

The scheme by builders Jeakins Weir will create four affordable homes on a former village garages site owned by the district council.

A spokesman for Harborough District Council told the Mail this week: ““We are liaising with the resident in question regarding this matter and will keep him informed.”