Celebrity gossip

Readers who move in certain circles might already be aware that, after his problems with a proposed private chapel on his Suffolk estate, Ed Sheeran does at least now have his wildlife pond sorted out.

The background is that in 2017 planning permission was granted for the construction of a wildlife pond. When the pond was constructed, a jetty and some steps were also installed. Subsequently, an application was submitted seeking planning permission for these features as well as an equipment shed. Whilst planning permission was granted, a condition was attached to the permission restricting use of the pond as a wildlife pond and not for other uses including any recreational leisure activity uses such as swimming, watersports or fishing. The reason for the condition was so that the local planning authority could retain control over the development in the interests of amenity and the protection of the local environment. An appeal against the imposition of the condition was then made (DCS Number 400-022-627).

The inspector pointed out that the planning permission subject to the appeal related to landscape features and the equipment shed and not to the pond itself which had been permitted under a previous application. He found no evidence to suggest that the landscape features and equipment shed would result in adverse effects on biodiversity, geodiversity and landscape character areas without the continued imposition of the condition. Consequently, he determined that the condition was not necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms. Moreover, given that the planning permission was not for the pond itself he found no justification for controlling its use, and the condition was therefore not relevant to the development permitted.

Whilst you can sympathise with the council’s wish to address the concerns of neighbours who are up in arms – we’ve been there, we really have – you just can’t do this. 

Section 4.412 of DCP Online concerns the six tests for planning conditions.