Police visit Ed Sheeran’s home after concerns over work at ‘Sheeranville’ estate disturbing rare NEWTS
- Officers took no action against the Shape of You singer following their visit
- Sheeran, 27, remains under investigation by Suffolk Coastal District Council
- Construction began on a second pond without planning permission granted
Suffolk Police visited the home of Ed Sheeran (pictured at a gig in Australia this year) after concerns were raised that work at the sprawling compound – dubbed ‘Sheeranville’ – had disturbed some rare newts
With crime soaring and police numbers falling, an increasing number of misdemeanours are going uninvestigated by officers.
But it seems that, while police are too busy to visit victims of burglary, they can still squeeze in a jaunt to the home of a celebrity.
Suffolk Police visited the home of Ed Sheeran after concerns were raised that work at the sprawling compound – dubbed ‘Sheeranville’ – had disturbed some rare newts.
Police and council officers launched separate investigations into work on two ponds on the site amid concerns that a ‘protected species’ – understood to be great crested newts – had been disturbed when an old pond was tidied up.
However, the force – which did not question or arrest the Shape of You singer – took no further action after finding no evidence that an offence had been committed.
It refused to clarify whether evidence of any newts had been destroyed by workmen or if it appeared newts had never inhabited the area.
Sheeran, 27, remains under investigation by Suffolk Coastal District Council – which had passed the case on to wildlife officers at Suffolk Police – over a second newly-built pond, as planning permission was not requested before construction began.
If he is found to have committed a breach he could have to submit a retrospective application or return the site to its original state.
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While police are happy to investigate possible newt disturbances, concern is growing that forces are failing to direct their resources towards incidents like burglary.
Yesterday shocking figures revealed crime has soared in the last year, including a 30 per cent rise in robberies.
But officers charged a suspect for just 9 per cent of crimes.
And in May, police allegedly said they were ‘too busy’ to investigate a home burglary in north London – despite six officers showing up when ex-footballer Ian Wright’s car was stolen less than half a mile away the next day.
The sprawling ‘Sheeranville’ compound in Suffolk. Police and council officers launched separate investigations into work on two ponds on the site
A Daily Mail poll found this week that 57 per cent think police have surrendered control of their neighbourhoods.
The police’s visit to Sheeran comes after he was denied permission to build a Saxon-style chapel as a ‘retreat for contemplation’ at his Suffolk estate.
Suffolk Constabulary confirmed checks to a pond had been made. ‘Police have investigated an allegation of disturbance to a European Protected Species on a site in East Suffolk,’ a spokesman said.
‘No evidence has been found at this time to suggest there was an offence committed and as such the matter will remain filed at this time.
Any such reports are investigated and if we have sufficient evidence, we will take action.’
Sheeran, who is worth £80million, has bought four houses next door to each other since 2012 to create his own estate.
Great crested newts were previously found in a neighbour’s pond. Their habitat can extend up to 1,500ft.
Great crested newts were previously found in a neighbour’s pond. Their habitat can extend up to 1,500ft
It is the largest newt species in Britain. A loss of habitat has seen numbers plunge and it is now legally protected.
Intentionally killing or injuring one, or disturbing or obstructing access to their habitat, can lead to a maximum six-month jail term and £5,000 fine.
The council said the new pond remained under investigation, adding: ‘Whether planning permission is required, or not, is yet to be determined.’
If permission was required and a retrospective application was ‘not received or if it is refused’, it would decide whether to take formal enforcement action.
Neighbours have formally objected to the substantial works going on at the site.
One said recent development had been done with ‘total disregard’ for the newt population.
Others complained of the ‘carnage’ being caused, with one saying: ‘With the construction of treehouses, pools, bars, gyms and now a chapel … will this list of unlimited requests never end?’
A spokesman for Sheeran initially claimed he was granted permission for a pond in 2016 but failed to specify which one.
She refused to respond to further requests for a comment.
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