Harborough MP will hold crucial talks with the Bishop of Leicester in a bid to resolve a bitter long-running battle over land in a Harborough district village

Relationships between the Church and villagers have almost broken down over the land at the heart of the community

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 10:46 am
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 10:48 am
The land that is at the centre of the dispute in Church Langton.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien is to hold crucial talks with the Bishop of Leicester in a bid to resolve a bitter long-running battle over land in a Harborough village.

The MP will be joined by Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough District Council, as they meet Bishop Martyn Snow to thrash out the future of the open space in Church Langton.

Relationships between the Church and villagers have almost broken down over the land at the heart of the community.

The field is owned by the Church – and has previously been offered to let for grazing.

But residents have offered to fork out more than the rent demanded – and still been turned down by the Church.

“This is the only open space field the villagers have access to for recreation purposes, so I entirely understand and sympathise with their concerns over its future.

“I’ve invited the Bishop, as the leader of the Church locally, to meet with Cllr Phil King and I to discuss the future of this field.

“I’m very pleased that he has accepted,” said Neil.

“I look forward to the meeting and working together in the interest of residents across the village and all others who use this space.”

Cllr King said: “Relationships have deteriorated a lot in recent months.

“It really doesn’t need to be this way, with better communication and a willingness to explore other possible options around the future of this much-loved open space.

“I echo Neil’s comments about welcoming the meeting with the Bishop.

“I hope we can look creatively and with goodwill at the situation before us, to find a solution that works for all parties,” stressed Cllr King.

Neil added: “It’s regrettable that relationships have become as strained as they currently are.

“Much of the current issues could be solved by improved dialogue and information sharing.

“So I look forward to working with the Bishop and Church to discuss how we can all work together on this.”