Diary: Darkness on the edge of town

"Welcome to Alderley Edge" - four words spelling out a seemingly benign message.

Unfortunately, the installation of seven new signs greeting visitors to this well-heeled corner of Cheshire (above) left some residents feeling as though they were on the outside looking in. The placement of the signs gave rise to rumours that the village boundaries had been redefined – and left the homeowners outside the perceived new threshold fearing a resulting fall in the values of their properties. The parish council has since agreed to relocate the signs and reassured residents that no-one is being pushed out of the village. Resident Kate Merica told the i newspaper: "How ironic that something designed as a welcome has resulted in feelings of exclusion to those who actually live here."

Chris Sharples, a resident of Compton in Surrey, began decorating the village phone box to mark last year’s royal wedding. A year on, the parish councillor has used his talents to stage a protest against the recent adoption of Guildford’s local plan – wrapping the phone box in a green belt (below left). Interested readers may subscribe for updates at the @comptonphonebox Instagram account.

Trouble is brewing in Sheeranville, the Suffolk enclave owned by Britain’s favourite red-headed songwriter. As regular Diary readers will know, Ed Sheeran was recently investigated by council enforcement officers over a wildlife pond that looked suspiciously like a swimming pool – but was cleared of any planning breaches. Now, the singer is in trouble with the planners again and is fighting for the right to retain a pub sign installed on his property. The pub is a grade II listed barn and the sign has prompted heritage concerns. An East Suffolk Council spokeswoman confirmed that an application for the sign has been lodged, adding: "Mr Sheeran would not be expected to take down the sign while the application is pending."


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