Ed Sheeran chapel proposal fails to get planning permission from council officers

PUBLISHED: 16:52 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:25 19 September 2018

Suffolk songwriting superstar Ed Sheeran has been denied planning permission for a chapel on his estate near Framlingham because of the design’s “visual conflict” with the surrounding area.

The Suffolk-raised 27-year-old lodged a planning application in February to build a chapel on land near Framlingham, where he plans to wed his childhood sweetheart Cherry Seaborn.

Concerns had been raised by nearby homes that it had been a longtime habitat for newts, prompting the Shape of You star to enlist a special study to see if it would affect the area.

But planning officers at Suffolk Coastal District Council refused the application because its design is not in keeping with the surrounding area.

The decision report said: “The proposal would result in unsatisfactory landscape impacts and visual impacts, due primarily to its adoption of a ‘Saxon’ round tower approach, which would be in conflict with the prevailing landscape character, creating the impression of a second village church and its own intentions of being a non-denominational place of worship.

“This would result in visual conflict with the character of the existing local landscape.”

It added that it went against both the local plan and national planning policy framework because it was not a sustainable development.

The decision continued that the distance of the chapel from the rest of the estate’s buildings meant artificial lighting would need to be adopted in an area not currently polluted by light.

The application said it would not be for wedding hire, and was being designed for use solely by the owners.

It justified the need for a chapel when it said: “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.”

Ed confirmed his engagement to Cherry in January, the pair having dated for around two and a half years prior and both having attended Thomas Mills High School.

Rumours had been circulating since then where he would tie the knot, with his beloved ‘Castle on the Hill’, Framlingham Castle, among one of the most popular fan theories.

Had Ed’s planning application been successful, he would then have needed to obtain a wedding licence in order to marry there.

A clearing had been left for the chapel when whips were planted in that part of the estate three years ago.

It is not yet clear if there will be any appeal to the decision or what plan the hitmaker will pursue for the wedding venue.

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