Letter: Opera and ballet in the Midlands

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The Independent Online
Sir: Today's report by David Lister ('Southern glory in tale of two opera houses', 27 May) about this month's public inquiry into the Compton Verney opera and ballet house application lacked balance.

Where an application affects a Grade I listed building or land and has been called in by the Secretary of State, as in this case, the normal procedure is for a public inquiry to be held. The inspector appointed by the Department of the Environment to preside over the inquiry is required, whatever the outcome, to make a report to the Secretary of State.

Far from failing, we believe the inquiry went very well from our point of view. Our application was supported by Stratford District Council, which is the planning authority, by Warwickshire County Council, and by Kineton Parish Council, which represents the village closest to Compton Verney. We look forward to a decision by the Secretary of State in our favour in due course.

We, too, have been glad to read of Glyndebourne's progress and are also grateful for the considerable support we have been given from businesses and individuals to reach such a significant state in our plans. We look confidently towards providing the Midlands and Britain with its first purpose- built opera and ballet house.

Yours faithfully,

WILLOUGHBY DE BROKE

Chairman

The Compton Verney

Opera Project

London, SW1

27 May

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