This morning, Save Shottery personally delivered a copy of their new ‘Global Warning Report’ to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s (SBT) chair of trustees, Peter Kyle, OBE. Trustees are meeting today to review their plans for studies into the potential damage to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – and to the Trust’s reputation – of Bloor Homes’ intended Shottery development.
The report, compiled from responses to the Save Shottery petition , delivers a loud and clear message to the SBT that citizens in 24 countries of the world, in every continent, do not want the Trust to sell out Anne Hathaway’s land to property developers.
One in five signatories have added a personal comment to the petition. The majority (70%) refer to Shakespeare, heritage or the Trust’s duty – by law – to preserve the Shakespeare properties for the nation.
The report pulls together nearly 200 comments, including the following from:
- Singapore: “This is important as it is about protecting the heritage and ambience of Britain’s history and unique culture.”
- SUA (Stratford upon Avon): “The Shakespeare Birthplace trust is duty-bound to protect and preserve its properties and the surrounding land. If the Trust decides to sell the land behind Anne Hathaway’s, they will renege on one of their key responsibilities and shame the entire town for years to come.”
- USA: “Shakespeare belongs to the world, not to greedy developers.”
Central News and Touch FM were there to cover Save Shottery’s ‘special delivery’, but were not allowed into our meeting with Peter Kyle. He’d already spoken to ITV about the SBT’s position.
“We’ve just watched Peter Kyle’s interview on the lunchtime TV,” says Save Shottery co-founder Debbie Griffiths. “On the one hand they confirm they are opposed to selling the land, which is good news. But on the other, they go on about there being no guarantees about compulsory purchase in the future by the Council, which once again clouds the issue.
“The SBT could be the hero of Stratford, the UK and the world if it would simply say ‘our land is not for sale’. They never said this to the Planning Inspector or Eric Pickles. They did not say it today. If they said the land is categorically NOT sale, it would ge a game changer and force Pickles to rethink.”
The full ITV report, including Save Shottery’s interview, is due to air on Central News tonight.
The petition is now less than a couple of hundred signatures short of its 1463 target (the year Anne Hathaway’s was built). The Trust is taking all heritage comments on board, so please sign and have your say.