Shakespeare development: Stratford council in court appeal

Anne Hathaway's cottage in Shottery The site for proposed development is close to Anne Hathaway's cottage

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A High Court hearing later will decide whether 800 new homes can be built near a Shakespeare property in Warwickshire.

Plans for the development near Shottery in Stratford-on-Avon were approved by the communities secretary in October after an appeal by the developer.

The plans, for homes, a school and a health centre, were originally rejected by Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

It is now challenging the communities secretary's decision at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre.

The site for proposed development, south-west of Alcester Road, is close to Anne Hathaway's cottage, once home to William Shakespeare's wife and now a tourist attraction.

Some of the land earmarked for the development is owned by the The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust which could face a compulsory purchase order if plans get the go-ahead.

The council's planning committee originally objected to the density of the proposals by Bloor Homes and Hallam Land Management.

The chair of the planning committee, Sir William Lawrence, said: "Up to 800 houses round the back of Shottery is almost like a new town."

No one from Bloor Homes or Hallam Land Management was available to comment.

The hearing is expected to last for two days.

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