Ed Sheeran’s plans to build private chapel put on hold in search for great crested newts

The singer has applied for planning permission to add a Saxon-style chapel to his private estate in East Anglia

Ed Sheeran has put plans to build a private chapel on his estate on hold so a search for great crested newts can be held.

The singer-songwriter has applied for planning permission to add a Saxon-style chapel to his land in Suffolk, but Suffolk Wildlife Trust, amongst others, have raised concerns about the construction.

According to the trust, ponds on Sheeran’s estate “could be breeding sites for this species.” The great crested newt is Britain’s largest newt species and is found across Europe and some parts of Asia. However, because of loss of habitat, their number has fallen in Europe over the last few years and the amphibian is now legally protected. Under law, it is an offence to intentionally kill or injure a great crested newt, or disturb or obstruct access to their habitat.

“The applicant has responded promptly to this matter and has also commissioned an appropriate survey that will identify the presence of great crested newts or otherwise, propose migration measures as appropriate and recommend measures to enhance biodiversity,” Paul Smith of Apex Planning Consultants said, according to Sky News.

He continued: “We were not aware of the historical presence of great crested newts nearby and certainly believe that none exist in the pond nearby to the application site.” Smith added that concerns the chapel could attract unwanted media attention to the area were unfounded as the proposed structure would be approximately 230 metres away from the road.

The chapel Sheeran plans to build will reportedly hold 24 people. His application states that “it is every person’s right to be able to have a place of retreat for contemplation and prayer, for religious observance, celebration of key life and family milestones, marriages, christenings, and so forth.”

The 27-year-old musician got engaged to his long-term girlfriend Cherry Seaborn last December. He shared the news on Instagram in January, writing: “Got myself a fiancé just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx.”

Meanwhile, Sheeran is due to perform a number of shows in London and Cardiff this month. Remaining tickets for the dates are available here. His UK tour dates are as follows:

London, Wembley Stadium (June 14, 15, 16, 17)
Cardiff, Principality Stadium (21, 22, 23, 24)

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