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Ed Sheeran ‘wildlife pond’ could be used for swimming, claim neighbours

PUBLISHED: 18:11 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:04 15 March 2019

We are so excited to welcome Ed to Suffolk Picture: BEN BIRCHALL/PA WIRE

We are so excited to welcome Ed to Suffolk Picture: BEN BIRCHALL/PA WIRE

PA Wire/PA Images

Neighbours of Ed Sheeran’s Suffolk estate have complained a pond on his land - built to promote wildlife - could double up as a swimming pool.

Suffolk Coastal District Council granted retrospective planning permission for changes to the pop star’s pond, initially built in 2018 on the grounds of his house near Framlingham.

Part of the planning application states it can only be used to help support the natural biodiversity of the area and not for swimming or any other recreational leisure activity.

However, three people wrote to the authority claiming the pond could be used for swimming.

Andrew Cattee wrote that “what was initially a wildlife pond has... become a recreational swimming pond, now with the addition of steps, handrail and jetty”.

Mr Catee added: “I am a huge supporter of the creation of eco-systems, especially when it comes to ponds and wetlands.

“What I would hate to see here is that this is taken one step too far and transformed into an area of development that is for no gain to the wildlife that lives there but only to add to the amusement of those that reside at the property.”

Kenny and Carol Cattee said they were concerned that the plans seemed to be “for something that was already there” and feared it may be the intention to expand the plans further at a later date.

Tony Robinson commented on the application, saying: “I believe that the development of the site is more about creating an environment for a ‘wild lifestyle’ rather than actual ‘wildlife’.”

Both the parish council and Suffolk Wildlife Trust were consulted as part of the planning application.

It was constrained in one direction by an “ancient structure” on the land but built so the building was not disturbed.

Structures already in place at the pond are a jetty and two sets of steps, which a planning application says is to “form interest in the pond” and allow quick access to the water “in the event of maintenance and emergency”.

There are also two sheds, which the application says are used for storing equipment, adding that a common newt and a number of insects have been seen in the pond already.

Plans to build a chapel on Sheeran’s estate were last year rejected after a wildlife group voiced concerns about the possible impact on great crested newts.

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