Charlotte Church faces probe over school classes at dwelling

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Charlotte Church at a climate change demonstration in London in 2015

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AFP

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Charlotte Church has become a political activist in recent years

Singer Charlotte Church is facing an investigation amid claims she is running a school at her home without permission.

Earlier this week the soprano revealed plans to accommodate up to 20 pupils in an annexe of her home in Dinas Powys.

About Charlotte
Charlotte () is the most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population was 872,498, making it the 16th-most populous city in the United States. The Charlotte metropolitan area’s population ranks 23rd in the U.S., and had a 2018 population of 2,569,213. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2018 census-estimated population of 2,728,933.Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country’s fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U.S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, Charlotte tops the U.S. in millennial population growth. It is the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Jacksonville, Florida. It is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. It is listed as a “gamma” global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Residents are referred to as “Charlotteans”.
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States since 1995.Among Charlotte’s many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, the Charlotte Knights of the International League, the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the Charlotte Independence of the USL, the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse, two NASCAR Cup Series races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate. It is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.

Charlotte Church faces probe over school classes at home

About Church
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Vale of Glamorgan Council, which is yet to grant planning permission, said people had complained the building was already being used for teaching.

Ms Church denied the claims and insisted she was operating legally.

Charlotte Church faces probe over school classes at home

The council is yet to decide whether or not it will take formal action – but could in theory issue notices telling the singer to either stop or reverse any unauthorised work.

Ms Church plans to open a non-fee paying school for 20 local children aged nine to 12 which will be based at her home only for the first year. 

She said it was aimed at children “who may have been struggling in mainstream education and providing an alternative that doesn’t cost anything”.

“We’re trying to do something which is beneficial to the community,” she added.

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Notices of a bid for planning permission for a school have been put up in Dinas Powys

Ms Church said a part-time home school tutoring group is currently using the annexe for less than 12.5 hours per week, which she says is approved by school inspectorate Estyn and the Welsh Government.

“As far as I’m concerned I’m not aware of any breach of planning,” she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“If the council want to look at what we’re doing we will welcome them with open arms. If there are any problems we will be completely compliant. This is a charity venture.”

She said internal works had been done to the annexe but they had “not changed the character” of the building.

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Charlotte Church was said to have the “voice of an angel” when she came to fame as a child star

Dinas Powys Community Council and local county councillor Andrew Robertson have objected to the plans, raising fears over traffic and noise.

However, Ms Church has said just one vehicle would be needed to take children to and from the school.

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A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “The council is currently considering an application for a change of use relating to a building at this address.

“We have also launched an enforcement investigation after receiving a number of complaints suggesting the use has started prior to planning permission.

“We will decide whether any formal action is necessary in due course.”