Ed Sheeran is making ‘painfully slow’ progress in his project to build a new chapel-style retreat with its own burial crypt on his £3.7million Suffolk estate, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
The flint-walled structure which is visible from nearby roads is still swathed in scaffolding and plastic sheeting more than 14 months after building work started.
Planning documents drawn up for the Shape of You star describe the boat-shaped building as being a place where he can ‘retreat for contemplation, prayer and relaxation’.
The 65ft long structure with a 25ft tower and spiral staircase is being built on the edge of the singer’s sprawling estate near his home town of Framlingham, Suffolk.
Builders have constructed a yard as a storage area for building materials and are using a dedicated track to access the site.
Ed Sheeran is making ‘painfully slow’ progress in his project to build a new chapel-style retreat with its own burial crypt on his £3.7million Suffolk estate
Ed Sheeran, 32, who lives with wife Cherry and their two children, initially had plans to build a larger chapel but it was rejected by council planners
Villagers have been left intrigued by the chapel which is the latest in a string of quirky buildings to appear on the singer’s estate which has been nicknamed Sheeranville by locals.
One local resident said: ‘It will be interesting to see what it looks like when it is finally finished – but the building work is painfully slow. It seems to be taking ages, but I guess they are using traditional building techniques so that it looks like a historic church.’
Sheeran, who lives with wife Cherry and their two children initially had plans to build a larger chapel rejected by council planners.
Some neighbours objected to the building, stating that there were already enough churches in the area to serve residents. But he made a new application in 2019 for a smaller space which won approval from East Suffolk Council.
Planning documents explained it would be built on the eastern side of the singer’s estate because ‘the rising of the sun is relevant both in the Abrahamic and oriental traditions’.
A design statement read: ‘It would address an important need for a private place of retreat for contemplation and prayer, for celebration of key life and family milestones, family and social gatherings, marriages, christenings, and so forth.
Seen is the Suffolk home of Ed Sheeran in 2019, known as Sheeranville, which is the UK’s most Googled celebrity home
The 65ft long chapel with a 25ft tower and spiral staircase is being built on the edge of the singer’s sprawling estate near his home town of Framlingham, Suffolk
One local resident said: ‘It will be interesting to see what it looks like when it is finally finished – but the building work is painfully slow’
‘It would also allow the applicant’s family, friends and colleagues to be able enjoy these things and join them in their observance.
‘The proposed building would be a space truly ancillary to the main house, but apart from it in order to provide calm and separation.
‘The applicant has […] guests and visiting colleagues at [his home], people from around the world.
‘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.’
The application insisted that Sheeran was not looking to overshadow his local village’s nearby medieval Church of England church.
It added: ‘Its design is reflective of shapes and forms that are familiar to all, allowing each person to interpret its symbolism freely in their own way, which reflects the principle of it being multi use and non-denominational.
‘It does not seek to follow or ape a previous building typology, but is an evolved form of the Suffolk vernacular, having echoes of round towers, mills, wind pumps and so forth.’
The building will have a nave downstairs with eight pews of seats, a spiral staircase to a small gallery, and a main space for activity, as well as a lead roof, flint walls and stained glass windows.
The singer was given consent last January to add a 9ft by 6ft burial crypt, enough to fit two bodies under a slab in the floor of the building.
He also won consent last year to place a 7ft tower lightning rod above the chapel’s tower to safely dissipate the 300million volt electrical charge from any lightning strikes.
Documents revealed that it was planned to be a so-called Early Streamer Emission system conductor in line with international standards.
A local said: ‘It seems to be taking ages, but I guess they are using traditional building techniques so that it looks like a historic church’
Local councillors have pointed out that he will need a licence to hold marriages in his chapel, meaning it would have to be open to the public for three years
Sheeran has famously bought up five neighbouring properties to create his rural retreat.
He is believed to have spent £3million on extensive renovations, including building his own pub, tree house, underground music room and tunnels.
Sheeran has also added a wildlife pond, an outdoor kitchen and a football pitch, a walled kitchen garden, an orchard, a mini paddock for chickens, goats and sheep and an entertainment area with a hot tub and fire pit.
The singer has been involved in several disputes over his rights and his neighbours’ rights to develop their respective property.
A neighbour won a battle against the superstar in 2020 after Sheeran objected to his plans to extend his back garden.
But the neighbour who lives three houses along from the pop star’s estate, was given permission to make his back garden 160 feet bigger, using part of a field that he owned at the rear.
Sheeran said did not want the space to be domesticated and claimed it would ‘extend the village into the countryside in an unplanned and artificial way’, despite his own much-publicised building projects.
Although the council objected to the neighbour’s proposal initially many neighbours wrote in to support him and his plans were eventually approved.
Sheeran also had to fight to be able to keep the 16ft pub sign he had hung outside his barn converted into a drinking den.
Although he was given planning permission for the pub in 2017, he did not have permission for the sign which caused locals to question why it was there.
Sheeran was also told he could not swim in his wildlife pond under the condition that it was used to provide a natural habitat for frogs, newts and dragonflies.
The council visited his property and specifically banned ‘recreational leisure such as swimming’. He was also forced to remove his outside sauna, in a caravan next to the pond, after neighbours complained.
Sheeran bought his first home in the site, a new build, for around £900,000 back in 2012.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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