1. ITV Report

Anger as go-ahead given for 800 homes on Shakespeare's green-belt land

800 houses are planned to be built on green-belt land Photo: ITV Central

At Ann Hathaway's cottage where Shakespeare courted his future wife a storm is approaching.

The cottage is about to get more neighbours, hundreds more in fact, in 800 homes on two huge housing estates which developers have been told they can build on fields - green belt fields, near the cottage.

The local council doesn't want it, the council leader doesn't want it, the local MP is against it, the Shakespeare Birthplace trust don't want it, and neither do the people living in the village of Shottery near Stratford.

So why has Eric Pickles the Secretary of State told Bloor Homes they can build the 800 houses.

In the town made famous by the man of letters, tonight there are angry words.

Ann Hathaway's cottage

The local council turned down the planning application - but the developer appealed - just at the time when the government changing the law saying it would virtually agree to any planning application if it was deemed to be sustainable.

The leader of Stratford District council could hardly hide his displeasure today and he's written to Eric Pickles to tell him.

The cottage is owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - and it also owns land on which the new relief road for the estate would go.

Today strong language from the trust saying it was extremely disappointed, the development would cause irreversible harm, we will protect Shakespeare's houses for the nation.

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