The singer is pictured with his wife Cherry. Sheeran’s neighbours have written to planning officials with their objections
It seemed entirely in character for the nicest man in pop to build a wildlife pond on his Suffolk estate, providing a home for frogs, newts and dragonflies.
But now Ed Sheeran‘s neighbours are angry that the natural sanctuary has been altered into what they fear is a swimming pool for the star and his friends to party in.
Aerial pictures reveal the pond has a jetty to dive off and a wooden Romany-style caravan – which could make a convenient changing room – just feet from steps leading into the water.
The original 2016 planning application described how the pond would ‘support nature conservation… providing a natural habitat for breeding and wetland invertebrates such as dragonflies and water beetles, as well as providing a source of drinking water to birds and mammals’.
Aerial pictures reveal the pond has a jetty to dive off and a wooden Romany-style caravan – which could make a convenient changing room – just feet from steps leading into the water
Officials made clear it should have ‘no other uses’, specifically forbidding ‘recreational leisure such as swimming’.
Last year, East Suffolk council gave retrospective approval for the jetty and steps, having been told they were ‘to enable access to the pond in the event of maintenance and emergency’.
But sceptical local residents believe the alterations are to allow the kidney-shaped pond to be used for swimming.
Such ‘natural’ pools – typically priced around £120,000 – have become a fad among the wealthy wanting something that blends in with leafy gardens better than a traditional design, and uses plants rather than chemicals to keep the water clear.
Sheeran’s neighbours have written to planning officials with their objections.
One of them, Tony Robinson, said: ‘I believe that the development of the site is more about creating an environment for a ‘wild lifestyle’ rather than the actual ‘wild life’.’
And Kenny and Carol Cattee, who have previously complained about loud music from the property, said: ‘The so-called wildlife pond would now appear to be more like a swimming pond, which is somewhat different from the application.’
Andrew Cattee, who lives at the same address, added: ‘What was initially a wildlife pond has become a recreational swimming pond.
Sceptical local residents believe the alterations are to allow the kidney-shaped pond to be used for swimming. Officials made clear it should have ‘no other uses’, specifically forbidding ‘recreational leisure such as swimming’
‘One would not like to think that in a year’s time the small equipment sheds are upgraded to a shower block and changing facilities.’
The work on the pond – in the middle of a field – has been carried out by a company called Gartenart, which advertises itself as ‘the UK’s leading swimming pond and natural swimming pool provider’.
Sheeran’s home already boasts a an indoor swimming pool and a four-room treehouse, and a well-trodden path leads from his house to the pond, which is about a third of the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
Last year the 27-year-old singer, whose hits include Dive, was denied planning permission for a 24-seat Saxon-style chapel to be built on the estate, amid concern that it might endanger a colony of great crested newts.
The star’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment last night.