Ed Sheeran's "dream wedding" in jeopardy after plan to build church in backyard rejected
Ed Sheeran's dream to marry his long-term girlfriend in a purpose-built flint chapel at his Suffolk home has been dashed after planning officials deny permission
There is more bad news for Ed Sheeran and, this time, it is about his wedding. It looks like his dream to marry his long-term girlfriend in a purpose-built flint chapel at his Suffolk home has been dashed after planning officials rejected the multi-millionaire's application to build a Saxon-style chapel. The reason cited was "conflict with the prevailing character of the landscape."
They also stated that the proposed 24-seat chapel at Framlingham in Suffolk would cause light pollution and "create the impression of second village church." The 27-ear-old singer-songwriter made the application to Suffolk Coastal District Council in January shortly after proposing to long-term girlfriend, Cheery Seaborn, who is 26 years old.
The application soon attracted local criticism and concern about the effect on wildlife and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust said it was concerned that the building could affect a colony of endangered Great Crested Newts believed to be spotted on the land. However, the singer had pledged to carry out an ecological survey of the land but as it turns out, the planning officials rejected the application outright.
Added to that, the application did not have more than three representations of support and the local parish council did not support it, the application could be decided purely at officer level. Previously, even Sheeran's planning agent had tried to address local concerns about the application.
Paul Smith, of Apex Planning Consultants, said in a statement: "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 mitigation measures as appropriate and recommend measures to enhance biodiversity." These could include bat boxes, swift nesting boxes and native planting.
"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," he added. Smith addressed concerns from people who claimed the planned chapel would be unsightly and drawing celebrity-spotters to the area. Smith insisted the chapel would be sited on private land approximately 230m from the road.
"Therefore, we do not agree that at such distance from public land and views it will generate the attention he (the objector) purports."
The claims that the chapel would be "a blot on the landscape, destroying views" were not based on facts and "discredit the high-quality architecture," Smith further added citing that it is common for Suffolk churches to be located on the edge of or outside settlements.
"Often, but not entirely because of the 14th century post-plague relocations of villages, this relationship is strongly characteristic of the area," he said.
"It is also the case that private chapels are generally sited away from their host houses for the purpose of providing a visible feature in the landscape encouraging the contemplation of the viewer." The application stated "to build a chapel is every person's right to be able to have a place of retreat for contemplation and prayer, for religious observance, a celebration of key life and family milestones, marriages, christenings and so forth".
The proposed flint chapel would hold a congregation of around 24 people. And since that is not becoming a reality, we will see what other options Sheeran has.