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Rare NEWTS could put a stop to pop star Ed Sheeran’s dream of building a CHAPEL in his back garden.

The Shape of You singer wants to build the private chapel, which would be made out of flint, with an impressive round tower, in the grounds of his house in East Suffolk. The musician, who is believed to be worth £40 million, has applied for planning permission to build the chapel in the style of a small early Suffolk Round Tower Church, in the extensive grounds of his modern farmhouse. But the parish council and neighbours have objected to the plans because they fear it will destroy the population of rare Great Crested Newts in his garden and be a “blight in the landscape.”

One neighbour said the recent work at Sheeran’s property had been done with a “total disregard” to local ecology, despite a report showing that his pond has one of the largest populations of Great Crested Newts in the area.

He wrote: “The development that has taken place at Wynneys Hall in recent years has been done with a total disregard to the local ecology and the need to preserve the habit for the existing population of great crested newts. The recent purchase by the applicant of "The Chestnuts", the adjacent property to Wynneys Hall, and the decimation of its long-established garden in the last few weeks is the latest example of this carnage. The pond located in this garden having one of the largest populations of GCN in the area. The agents report in section 10.3 even acknowledges that GCN were found in this pond at the Chestnuts. However this pond is conveniently not shown on the site plan of this new application.”

He said that he wanted Sheeran to carry out a “full ecological survey” before any more damage was done and before the application for the chapel went any further. The local parish council said they felt the chapel, with a proposed 48-foot tower, would be a “blight in the landscape” and have an “urbanising impact” on the countryside, which would be “detrimental.”

They wrote in their report to East Suffolk Council: “Councillors are in agreement that the proposed development would cause unacceptable levels of harm to the local landscape, character of the area, landscape fabric and visual amenity. This development, "the proposed chapel" will be sited in the open countryside and would be clearly seen for approximately half a mile on the approach to Dennington from Saxtead and would result in a visual loss and a blight in the landscape in what is an undeveloped agricultural field.”

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