Furious residents in Shakespeare’s hometown have shown their anger over plans to build futuristic homes opposite his grave.
Controversial plans have been submitted to erect six houses complete with James Bond-style subterranean car ports which rise out of the ground.
The three-storey arched properties are intended to be built just yards from Shakespeare’s gave in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks.
The proposed site in the Old Town is in a Conservation Area but councillors are expected to approve the controversial development.
But residents have reacted with anger, branding the proposals “a monstrosity” and looking like “shipping containers.”
Resident Bob Griffiths said: “New developments need to be in character in the rest of Old Town, if they are not this part of Stratford will be spoiled.
“There is a lot of pressure for housing and I would hope that if these are approved, some of it should be classed as affordable.”
Other residents have described proposals as “containers piled on top of one another” and “something out of a Mediterranean market town”.
Another resident Richard Thomas, said: “This is an outrageous application, it is completely inappropriate in this location.
“It contravenes so many planning rules it must be rejected.”
Businessman Jonathan Spence, 45, said: “These planned homes would be a monstrosity wherever they were built but next to Shakespeare’s grave would be outrageous.
“I’m all for modern architecture but these look like shipping containers piled up on one another. It’s hardly in keeping with a Conservation Area.
“I hate to say it but if this development goes ahead you’ll literally hear Shakespeare spinning in his grave. It must be stopped.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England has also blasted the development, branding it “an eyesore.”
Spokesperson Nicholas Butler said: “This will be an eyesore, it’s outrageously different to the surrounding area.”
“This is clearly out of place and would set an awful precedent.
“The whole point of having a conservation area is so that new developments have to adhere to the character of the surrounding area, otherwise there is no point in having one we will just end up with a rag bag of different architectural styles.
“There is a place for this type of architecture but not within a conservation area, because if it was there it wouldn’t be a conservation area.”
Historic England also urged the council to reject the application.
A statement on the Stratford-on-Avon’s District Council’s website states: “Historic England has concerns about the application on heritage grounds.
“We consider that the scheme in its current form is unacceptable.
“The proposed three-storey building will intrude into the landscape by its dominance and will be visible from within the churchyard in a manner which will have an impact on the significance of the church and it’s relatively open context.”
Rev Patrick Taylor, of Holy Trinity Church, said: “One of our areas of concern is the limited access to the site and another is the potential disruption to services that the construction might cause, these are areas where we would have to work closely with the developer to minimise the impact the work might have.”
Stratford-upon-Avon based architect Studio Spicer has come up with the plans, which involve demolishing an existing housing development.
They intend to replace it with six three-story buildings complete with underground garages which rise from the ground.
A final decision on the plans is expected next month.