The possibility of great chested newts living on Sheeran's Suffolk property has forced him to call in conservation experts.
Ed Sheeran’s plans to build a private chapel on his Suffolk estate has been postponed in order for wildlife experts to check for great chested newts on the property.
The 27 year old star has been forced by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust to hire conservation experts to check for the protected amphibian species on his land, before he can get permission to build the chapel.
Sheeran announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend Cherry Seaborn back in January this year, and at the same time lodged a planning application with the Suffolk Coastal District Council to build a Saxon-style flint chapel structure on his land, where he wants to wed.
Ed Sheeran's plans to build a chapel at his home are delayed
However, a number of concerns about the proposed 24-foot structure, including the possibility of disrupting views for other locals and its proximity to the public road, also include the likelihood of the endangered newts living near the ponds on Sheeran’s property, which the Suffolk Wildlife Trust believed was the case as recently as 2015.
The great crested newt used to be one of Britain’s largest newt species, but their numbers have declined to such an extent that they now have protected status. It is an offence to disturb places where they breed or disrupt access to places they might do so.
Paul Smith, of Apex Planning Consultants, said: “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.
“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.
The proposed chapel structure, if it indeed eventually gets permission, will hold a congregation of 24, and Sheeran will need a wedding licence to marry there.
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