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2nd Jul, 2022

Work begins on controversial pavilion

WORK has started on putting up the controversial Chinese pavilion in Stratford.

Stratford District Council planning chiefs gave the go-ahead for the six-sided structure in Firs Garden in Grove Road despite strong objections from residents.

The town has been gifted the peony pavilion by the Chinese city of Fuzhou where a replica Shakespeare’s Birthplace and other local landmarks are being constructed.

Residents continue to vent their anger at the decision which campaigner and resident David Curtis branded ‘ludicrous’.

Mr Curtis and fellow residents said their concerns had been ignored.

Residents fear the nearly seven metre high pavilion could become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

They are also concerned it could be a potential distraction to passing drivers, and would also present a safety issue with people standing in the road to take photographs.

But planning committee chair Justin Kerridge said an independent inspector was satisfied the pavilion would not lead to an increase in accidents in the area.

The council insisted Firs Garden – gifted to the public by author Marie Corelli in 1910 – was the most suitable option.

A spokesperson said it would ‘regenerate’ and benefit the garden, located at a ‘prominent entrance’ to the town, between Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway’s family home, and the town centre.

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