Cabinet to examine pavilion plan

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A motion calling for the council to reconsider its intention to install a Chinese pavilion in the Firs Gardens, in Stratford, is to be discussed by the Cabinet at Stratford District Council, following opposition to the idea.

During Monday’s full council meeting members agreed that a report would be prepared following a motion from Liberal Democrat member Cllr Jenny Fradgley, that the issue should be examined.

Around 45 letters of objection to the pavilion have been submitted on the council’s planning website along with a petition signed by a number of other objectors.

Cllr Fradgley’s motion urges the council to consider an alternative site for the structure.

Concerns over potential damage to tree roots, causing a distraction to motorists and fears of increased anti-social behaviour have all been raised.

Others have also pointed out that the land was originally donated to the town by Victorian writer Marie Corelli in 1910 “to preserve the open space for the benefit of the town”.

Such worries seem to centre on the site chosen rather than any objections about the actual pavilion itself.

During Monday’s meeting, former Stratford mayor Mick Love also asked why the district council had chosen to site the pavilion in Firs Gardens without consultation with residents.

Responding to Mr Love’s question, Cllr Lynda Organ responded: “The council considered a number of locations before choosing Firs Gardens as the preferred location for the Peony Pavilion. Locating the Peony Pavilion within the Firs Gardens should not prevent the use of the gardens as a quiet area for residents, indeed the pavilion could well enhance this experience.

“The final site of the pavilion cannot be fixed until planning permission has been secured and public consultation is an integral part of this process.

“I am aware that some objections have been raised as a result of the public consultation and these will be considered as part of the planning process.”

The Peony Pavilion has been gifted to Stratford by the city of Fuzhou in China as a sign of the growing ties between the two.