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The Witch of Wales
Tuesday, 24 July 2007

LONDON (Reuters) - A group of witches and wizards based in central England said on Monday they had forced developers to change the name of a new multi-million pound shopping mall because it clashed with their own moniker.

Property firm Hammerson had intended to name the 350 million pound shopping centre it is building in Leicester, "Highcross Quarter".

But that provoked the ire of a local coven of Wiccans, witches and wizards who use the name because it refers to a special date in the pagan calendar.

The coven had also set up a number of Web sites "to break through the ignorance and misunderstanding, prejudice and stigma often attached to Wicca, witchcraft and earth oriented belief systems" using the High Cross Quarter name.

The witches said on their Web site that, following a year-long dispute, the developers had now backed down and agreed to call their new project "Highcross Leicester".

"It was our only wish all along, to be left in peace to develop our Web site and maintain the aspirations for faith and of our simple way of life," said the group's spokeswoman who called herself Morrigan Wisecraft.

"It is our expectation that as a 'big' company, Hammerson Plc will now be big in the way it concedes to us, a small local alternative faith group, and that we can draw a line under this whole matter."

In a statement released to the media, Hammerson did not say whether it had changed its mind because of the row with the witches and wizards.

"Initially, Highcross Quarter was used to describe the development to potential new retailers and to our city centre partners in recognition of the wider city regeneration," said Richard Brown, senior development executive at Hammerson.

"It has now evolved to Highcross Leicester, which we believe will give it a stronger identity for customers and raise the profile not only of the development but also the city."

Posted by thewitchofwales at 11:49 AM EDT

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