Prayer retreat on Ed Sheeran’s Suffolk estate given go ahead

Ed Sheeran pictured during his homecoming gig at Chantry Park this year. The popstar has been given

Ed Sheeran pictured during his homecoming gig at Chantry Park this year. The popstar has been given approval to build a prayer retreat at his Suffolk estate. Picture: Zakary Walters - Credit: Archant

A “private place of retreat for contemplation and prayer” on the estate of Suffolk popstar Ed Sheeran has been given the go ahead.

The 28-year-old singer has bought several properties close to where he grew up near Framlingham, where he lives with his wife and childhood sweetheart Cherry Seaborn.

In September, the Shape of You singer made a planning application to construct a "boat-shaped" outbuilding near the town which would be a place "for celebration of key life and family milestones, family and social gatherings, marriages, christenings and so forth".

A design and access statement submitted in support of the application, prepared by Donald Insall Associates, added: "It would also allow the applicant's family, friends and colleagues to be able enjoy these things and join them in their observance."

The new two-storey building, approved by East Suffolk Council this week, is described as "novel and modern", as well as "sculptural and unusual".

The look of the building is also said to reflect natural forms, with the design and access statement adding: "The roof is leaf shaped, the form could represent a pair of cupped hands, or a chalice, or the plan of a mother and child or fish or beetle."

The building will also have stained glass windows designed especially for it.

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Despite its unique design, the architects say that growing plants on the site will mean that the building will become less and less visible over time.

It said that Sheeran has guests from around the world, adding: "Many of these people are from many countries, faiths and customs, including for example the USA, Ireland, Ghana, Nigeria, Asia and Australia.

"Thus, the applicant seeks to provide a space in which he, his family and these different people can retreat for contemplation, prayer and relaxation, to meet, celebrate and meditate in peace and safety from disturbance when they visit."

It is not the first time that Ed has applied for a religious space on his estate.

In 2018, Sheeran applied for permission to build a Saxon-style chapel on his estate.

However, there were concerns from a wildlife group about the possible impact on nearby great crested newts and the plans were eventually turned down.

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