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Ian West/PA Wire
UK News

Local council may force Ed Sheeran to open his proposed private church to the public

by Tola Mbakwe

It's been reported Sheeran planned to use the proposed church building as a private venue for friends and family wanting to hold weddings and christenings there.

However, according to The Daily Mail, his local parish council has said the building would need to be accessible to the public for at least three years before it's licensed and stated that the 28-year-old's current plans are illegal.

Dennington Parish Council Clerk Lydia Kirk said: "The applicant's statement of need describes the use of the ancillary building as a potential venue for marriages, christenings etc. for family and close friends.

"The parish council notes that additional licenses would be required under the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005 which would require the licensed premises to be accessible and available for public use for a period of three years.

"As such, this proposed use would be out-with the scope of the current application which is for a private use ancillary building only."

The Daily Mail reports the proposed church would have a "sweeping boat-shaped feel with a leaf-shaped roof and a cone rather than a spire".  The building would also have stained glass windows and a chapel with a 48 ft round tower.

Donald Insall Associates,  Sheeran's planning agent for the project, said: "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.

"It would also allow the applicant's family, friends and colleagues to be able to 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, 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."

The proposal is one of many to create "Sheeranville", an estate with five properties worth £3.7million.

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