The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has issued the following statement after a protest outside its base in Stratford-upon-Avon earlier today.
It says it supports the campaigners efforts to overturn the decision to build 800 new homes on land near the village of Shottery, which is feared will ruin historic links to William Shakespeare's birth place.
"We fully appreciate the concerns of the lobby groups and the strength of local opposition to the proposed development. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was extremely disappointed by the Secretary of State's decision to grant the developers' appeal.
The Trust has been an objector to the proposed development and our position is unchanged. The Inspector himself and the Secretary of State acknowledge that there is some harm to the setting of Anne Hathaway's Cottage and a risk to tourism in Stratford arising from this development."
"Today's meeting is our regular, scheduled half-annual meeting of Trustees. Today will be the first opportunity for the Trustees to collectively discuss the implications of the appeal decision.
The situation is complex, and still evolving, so no decision will be made today about the Trust's next course of action in relation to Shottery. That will be a matter for Executive Trustees and the wider Board, as and when they have all the relevant information before them, and the input of our professional advisors. No date has been set for a decision about our next steps."
– Spokesperson, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
"We have been greatly encouraged that the overwhelming majority of people who have written to us about the Shottery situation have expressed such strong support for the virtues of Anne Hathaway's Cottage and our Shakespearean heritage and culture here in Stratford-upon-Avon."