The decision to fight the government’s go-ahead for the housing scheme on the edge of the village of Shottery was made by the council’s regulatory committee today after it had been briefed on the legal position by a leading barrister.

The committee believes there are flaws in the planning inspector’s report recommending approval of the hugely controversial scheme and that the decision by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is therefore based on inaccurate information.

For details of the alleged inaccuracies see the current issue of the Herald.

After receiving advice from the lawyer in a confidential session of its meeting, the regulatory committee reconvened in public and voted unanimously to instruct the council’s monitoring officer to prepare a legal challenge to the government decision.

Just before the vote one member of the committee, Cllr Mike Brain (Cons, Quinton), said: “Stratford is a special place in the world. It is of world heritage significance. If there’s a chance of a legal challenge we must take it.”

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is so named because it is the place where William Shakespeare’s wife grew up.

On Saturday from 10am supporters of a new campaign called “Save Shottery” will be lobbying trustees attending a meeting of the
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust—which owns the Cottage—to urge them not to sell land behind the building that is vital for the housing scheme to go ahead as envisaged. The meeting is at the Shakespeare Centre in Henley Street, Stratford.

For further information on the legal challenge see next week’s papers.