Shakespeares Shottery

SBT sells out to property developers


Thank you to everyone who fought valiantly over many years to protect Shakespeare’s Shottery from property development. Today, 3 Oct 2015, the SBT finally stabbed campaigners in the back, agreeing to sell Briar Furlong (above) to Bloor Hallam: http://ow.ly/SYy9i

This is our reaction:

SBT finally shows its hand

Well, what a surprise: the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has finally voted to sell Briar Furlong to property developers!

These past couple of weeks, Peter Kyle and Diana Owen have been pathetically trying to persuade us that it was a ‘regrettable decision’ brutally ‘forced upon them’. Come off it. It’s been on cards for the years. We, the audience, could clearly see that from the moment the curtain was raised by Eric Pickles.

They’ve always held a winning hand of cards. And they knew it. They were no good at calling anyone’s bluff, but they held out for three years knowing it would secure them the very best deal at the last possible moment.

Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: “By opposing the developers’ proposals and holding firm to these non-negotiable requirements for the past few years, the Trustees have been able to secure the setting of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for future generations.”

Talk about putting a gun to Bloor Hallam’s head!

But to claim that “none of this is of our making” and that “we now have to deal with the consequences of decisions made by others” is completely disingenuous. They’re like a weak-willed Hamlet, publicly agonising about taking decisive action, yet all the time selfishly plotting behind the scenes.

Diana Owen let it slip on the radio this morning when she said that the opinions of the outside world had been noted, but the Trust would only consider its own self-interest – outside issues were not part of the vote. She’s clearly living in the past and needs to take a lesson from ex-chief execs of RBS and VW. No organisation today can look solely to itself while ignoring the outside world. Those that do, eventually fall on their own sword.

So, having stabbed the people of Stratford in the back, I hope everyone connected with the SBT can sleep at night. The rest of us now have to ‘deal with the consequences of decisions made by others’.

It’s time to finally bury Save Shottery, but I won’t be having nightmares. I resolve to boycott SBT and anything owned by its property-developing trustee. They’ve got enough money now, they won’t miss what locals could possibly give them. I encourage others to follow suit.

Debbie Griffiths, 3.10.15



11 thoughts on “Home

  1. Paul Hornby

    Having read about the proposed housing development I took the trouble to drive down to Stratford from Yorkshire to look at the site. As a town planner I feel I am qualified to make comments and fully support the objections to the site which is in an exposed and visible location. The decision of the Secretary of State was not driven by planning concerns but by th political considerations in that it is thought that any development will stimulate the economy. This is a flawed arguement and just look at the countries which have attempted such an approach (Ireland & Spain). I am afraid the Planning Inspectorate has become a tool of the politicans.

  2. Karen Varga Green Party

    Big business again tries to ride roughshod over beautiful countryside that could be used for feeding the nation in a sustainable way, and short term profit tries to destroy history, culture and beauty. One day there will not be an inch of agricultural land left – and as an island we will then have nowhere to grow our own food if there is ever a conflict. There are tens of thousands of empty bedrooms in mansions and Mcmansions in this country, and hundreds of thousands of abandoned offices, factories and pieces of industrial/developed land that is not used for its purpose any longer – this is sheer and utter LAZINESS on the part of developers – wanting virgin land that is quick and cheap to develop as opposed to land that has to be cleared and/or cleansed first. WE MUST STOP lazy and greedy developers – most of whom take from this country but do everything they can to avoid putting anything back (financed by international investors, with international shareholders and using every tax-avoidance scheme in the book) and stop believing that such schemes are in the interest of local communities – THEY ARE NOT! The transport links and job opportunities, school and health services are not present in this location – there are so many more suitable places. This development is a lazy, selfish, greedy, cynical money-making scheme – another commuter dormitory of off-plan houses drawn up decades ago with no imagination or sympathy for their surroundings or the wider needs of the community OR the future inhabitants (or the planet!) Are the houses going to be ‘future-proof’ – will they be fully disabled accessible for our ageing population? Will they conform to the absolute best environemtal standards – or the minimum? We deserve better and we should demand better – and this campaign is doing that! Who owns Wildmoor Spa – do those who comment in favour of this development know – or are they working on behalf of that organisation, an organisation that is responsible for some of the worst horrors of modern planning that are destroying the character and the environment around Stratford, leading to traffic chaos, social isolation, the loss of historic local family businesses and much needed farm land in the area. In 20 years there will be no tourists, there will be no farm land, there will be no independent shops – there will just be rows and rows of homogenic houses and a few supermarkets, where those who cannot get jobs, or just work in the supermarkets for minimum wage, wander backwards and forwards with nothing beautiful to look at, no lessons of history to learn from and the planet slowly but surely suffocates…..

  3. Bob Malloy

    Dear Anonymous

    You overlook the fact that our Council has a policy of smaller dispersed developments rather than one huge development. That will clearly spread the benefit as well as the pain of development around the District. Is that not sensible?

    Like other commentators I assume that you will benefit financially from this application unless you are prepared to publish your name. Are you related to Suzi by any chance?

    Bob Malloy

  4. R. Kubiak

    Please look at the Stratford Herald website and find the picture of Shottery Brook flooding at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. 800 houses with accompanying concreting over of the “greenfield site” will increase the run off, putting the Cottage and local housing under threat. I declare an interest- I live nearby!

  5. Anonymous

    I personally can not quite believe how ridiculous you are all being.

    I can bet that none of your houses were built when Shakespeare was living in stratford, however the only argument you have against this very well planned and sustainable housing project is the fact that it is near to Hathaway’s cottage.

    The development of 800 homes is actually small scale compared to the urban extensions that most towns across the country are having to accept. Oh and guess what there are other towns that also have special historical and environmental sensitive areas. however we all have to live somewhere (but heaven forbid it is near to where you all enjoy your comfortable lifestyles!!)

    Well what about all the 5,000 families that are currently waiting for homes in Stratford!!!!! You are all complete hypocrites and shortsighted NIMBYS.

    By the way I live locally and I am completely supportive of this housing scheme. it infuriates me that my council Tax is being wasted trying to defend against Eric Pickles Decision and all the money that has been wasted by the council previously at the Appeal hearings.

    When the development eventually happens the Council will benefit from the New Homes Bonus, which considering that they are all against the development is criminal.


    1. saveshottery Post author

      Dear Anonymous

      As Save Shottery was set up in the true spirit of openness and transparency, I will publish your post. However, if you wish to be taken seriously, I would urge you to reciprocate and be open about your identity rather post the views of an anonymous person.

      We always feared people would see this as a NIMBY (not in my backyard) campaign. However, if you read the post (in News) about the signatories of the Save Shottery petition, you will see that just under half (49%) of people who signed are from Stratford – the rest are from across the UK and 6% are from overseas.


      Debbie Griffiths

    2. David Walker

      This comment has been moderated:
      Dear Anonymous,
      I live in shottery and consider myself very lucky to do so. At the end of the day you must live where you can afford. I cannot afford to buy here, so we RENT. There are many houses available to rent, and many more for sale.

      I am happy for SDC to use my council tax to maintain the area we live in.

      You dont mention your profession, but I dont suppose you are employed by the developer by any chance?


  6. Jean Cholerton

    Thank you to Stratford District Council who today voted for a legal appeal against the contentious plan for 800 houses etc., passed by Eric Pickles earlier this month. The grounds of Anne Hathaway`s Cottage would be adversly affected by noise pollution and a loss of Bordon Hill view – unaltered landscape since Norman times. This cottage belongs to the Nation and the history of Wllliam Shakespeare. Visitors have enjoyed the tranquillity of the gardens for generations and we should protect it for future generations. This is just the beginning on a rocky and expensive route. Let us keep supporting our council in Stratford.


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