|caviar farm developer
gets fast response from East Sussex Highways to remove local protest signs|
September 1, 2016 - A van bearing the logo of
East Sussex Highways was seen
driving along Chiltington Lane,
in East Chiltington near Lewes this morning and stopping to remove and take
away A3 signs which had been put up by residents outside their houses and
driveways in a mile long protest against a planning application by a London
based development company to "improve" the local landscape and
biodiversity by building artificial lakes, processing facilities and a house up
on sloping grassland overlooking the South
Downs national park.
local residents asked what he was doing - the gentleman from the van said that
East Sussex County Council Highways department had received a strong complaint
by the developer about the signs.
Talking about this role (which is
to Costain) he said he had collected and disposed of over 1,500 signs in
recent months which (in the opinion of East Sussex Highways) breached their
guidelines about visibility of signs along the road.
asked how were these signs any different to other types of temporary signs which
you often see along the roads such as house for sale, and political election
signs and signs about Brexit - he said the rules were enforced the same way.
several "correct" ways |
to place a protest poster
learned about the
via letters from Lewes District Council
in the days leading up to the Bank Holiday. A
application by the same developer in April 2016 had been withdrawn after
by every household in the lane and due to inconsistencies and the technical
deficit of reports accompanying the original plan.
Returning to the
gentleman in the van in the lane this morning.
He learned he had
been sent on this urgent mission at taxpayers' expense to publicly conceal the
level of local opposition to a development plan to upcycle some grass fields
upslope of an often dry winterbourne stream in which sea trout come to spawn.
learned that some of their signs were undoubtedly in the correct places (as
deemed by the Highways department) and learned the correct rules for placing
such signs in future. (Correct as interpreted by the people who are sent to
Although residents believed they already had "deemed"
planning consent to place such signs on land outside their houses on verges
which beloned to their properties in the interests of harmony and to avoid
wasting more taxpayers' money the money they promised to place such signs in
future in the officially "correct" places.
One resident who
had her sign removed said she has now applied to Lewes District Council for
planning permission to erect the sign.
All signs now in the lane have
been placed in accordance with the highways rules (or are pending planning
permission) so we don't expect to see this same van here for the same purposes
But the clock is ticking because residents (many of whom were
on holiday when the plan was lodged) now only have about two weeks to read
nearly two hundred pages of documents and make formal comments before the
This is how democracy is working in rural East Sussex
When discussing this story with various residents this morning
it was noted that the Highways department had reacted very swiftly to a request
by a London based development company to remove these protest signs -
whereas requests by local residents to fix or replace fallen down safety signs
in the local lanes by bridges have apparently received no action after many
months and even quarters.
For more on this story and links to
supporting information see wrongthingwrongplace.com
|what do the posters say?|
an A4 pdf to support news about this story here.
|"We are very lucky to
live and work in such a beautiful place. The proposed caviar farm could leave us
with a permanent scar on the landscape in return for little or no economic
benefit to the area. This is just the wrong place for this enterprise."|
|Janet Downes, a resident of Chiltington Lane in the press release -
Residents Meet to
Protest Caviar Farm Development in Chiltington Lane, near Lewes - September
Every household in the lane has objections to the caviar plan and
residents believe the developer Kenneth Benning who owns the fields but lives
in London was embarrassed for it to be so publicly visible that there is zero
local support for his plan to terraform the fields contrary to planning
policies for the conservation area.
The justification of one part time
agricultral job to feed the fish has also been used to support a plan to
include a 3-4 bedroom house on the site. Although if you look at the collection
and arrangement of these building on the plan and how they relate to "support"
building, and their siting on the plot to capture views of the national park
over the road they can be viewed as being closer to resembling the
virtual footprint of a caviar mansion in waiting (viewed as a whole)
rather than merely a convenient set of "agricultural" units.
|later:- - In what was described
by the Chair of the Council , Buzz Harrison as - the best attended East
Chiltington parish council meeting she could recall - East Chiltington Parish
Council this evening spent nearly 2 hours discussing an application for a caviar
farm in Chiltington Lane.