FOOTINGS for the controversial Chinese Pavilion in Stratford’s Firs Gardens were started this week, despite continued objections from residents who claim at no stage have they been properly consulted over the project by Stratford District Council.
Tuesday saw the arrival of metal fencing, marker posts, a skip and three men who took measurements on site suggesting the council is pushing ahead with its decision to have the Peony Pavilion in place in time for this year’s Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, on Saturday 27th April.
The suddenness of the work has further frustrated 300 residents living near Firs Gardens, who saw a decision on the Pavilion’s location taken a fortnight ago at a heated council planning meeting.
David Curtis, spokesperson for Friends of Firs, the group opposed to the location of the pavilion, said: “We’d said all along we welcome this generous and beautiful gift from the Chinese people, we just think this location, in a small pocket park given to the community as an open space by Marie Corelli, is wrong.
“We keep asking the same question, ‘who made the decision where to site the pavilion and when?’ At the moment there doesn’t appear to be a record of this – we are genuinely baffled by the whole process.”
Friends of Firs have pledged to continue asking awkward questions of the district council.
The pavilion is a gift to Stratford from the city of Fuzhou in China, as a sign of the growing ties between the two.