|the Eton versus East Chiltington
| In February 2021 the residents
of East Chiltington learned that Eton College had plans to destroy their way of
life by concreting over fields to build an unasked for and entirely
unnecessary new town. read
and the name is...Eton-Welbeck
launches website to promote new town
North Barnes Farm
|Editor:- May 7, 2021 -
Actors working on
behalf of Eton College have launched a new web site
northbarnesfarm.co.uk as part
of an information campaign to support their previously announced intention to
build a new town of 3,000 to 5,000 homes on farmland in East Chiltington in the
region of North Barnes Farm along
and around Highbridge Lane.|
As predicted in my article -
(Feb 2021) the developers have eschewed a wide range of more apt names
Lewes Forum readers and other local residents had suggested for the new
town following a wide range of resident led consultation in March 2021
- whose name frontrunners included:- Eton Mess, Great Blighton,
Commuterton and Etongrad.
Instead - as their
placeholder for the Eton New Town project the developers have named it -
North Barnes Farm. Here's a screenshot from the launch home page.
screenshot from the new site's new home page on May 7
the next day
the headline had changed to
"A Sustainable New Community"
|North Barnes Farm... You might
think - the use of the word "Farm" to describe what happens when you
plonk 3,000 to 5,000 houses in some fields brings to mind a need to visit to
the "Funny Farm" or the sinister pigs' thinking revealed in George
Orwell's book - Animal Farm. Yet despite all these reservations - we've still
got to call it
something. I still can't decide in my own conversations (real and
imagined) between Etongrad,
Lewes Mess, and
Quidsinbury - depending on the context.|
Let's be clear about
one thing however - this new town concept, and all the hours you have already
spent and will expend to stop it over the next 25 years (that's what the're
saying) is due to
and disregard of harm to East Chiltington by the landowner Eton College
which seems to me to be recklessly developing an alternative business plan for
itself as a rapacious
developer (acting under the tax cover of a charity).
doing this? Eton
doesn't need the money.
|"In August 2019, Eton
College had 365 million in its investment portfolio and 110 million in its
property portfolio." - from the article
Endowments (May 27, 2020) by Trevor Chow|
|The simplest explanation may be
the the new
ma££s of planning gain.|
In the spirit of alternative
factspeak which has mysteriously infected me after reading so much about
this type of development project (and Eton's role in particular) - I can
only assume that Eton is concerned that if its much vaunted education
business (whose customers include leading objectors to the new town scheme)
ever goes down the swanny Eton Inc hopes it can re-emerge to survive for
the next several hundred more years as one of the UK's best known and loved
North Barnes Farm, Eton Mess, Etongrad... Whatever
name you prefer to call it by - in your thoughts about it - remember it's
Eton New town.
It's Eton's reputation on the line. Please make
every blade of lost grass count.
PPS - I began pondering the
merits of setting up a fact checking and repudiation website to respond to
statements worthy of challenge made in Eton-Welbeck's new web site. There are
so many. Here's an example...
|"Having carried out a
thorough review of the District and wider area it can be evidenced that this
part of the District does not have any statutory environmental or other
designations that would prevent a new settlement coming forward." |
- North Barnes Farm FAQs
(May 7, 2021) in the section called - Why a new settlement and why here?
|An "East Chiltington and
Friends" community based fact checking site would be relatively easy to set
up and would probably show that dozens of assertions made about Eton's new town
plan in this early version of NorthBarnesdotdot are simply formulaic
developer waffle. (Cleverly crafted developer porn.) |
The idea of a
fact checker website came to me from the
covering the early years of Donald
Trump's first presidency.
Sound bites from that fact
checker - did much to liven up the political blogosphere - outnumbered though
such comments were by the machine gun rattle from the
most competent user of Twitter.
But - that was political democracy
at work and the US. This is planning and England.
asking to be re-elected. They're just asking their friends in the planning
department who they've been getting to know since last year during the
secretive processes of
planning advice - how they can smooth out any rough edges in a plan which
statistics suggest could (if you placed a bet today) have more than a 50%
probability of going through (Source:-
statistics on land promoter appeals.)
An Eton Town Plan fact
checker? It might just be a waste of our time - as any statements,
promises and alternative facts made by the developer in this type of document
doesn't go into the legal machinations which will enable or stop the plan.
my view - the best use of provocactive developer statements - if they energize
you enough to work against the Eton New Town plan - is to share your findings
with like minded people (wherever they live).
So that when the
planning applications start going in - we can count on everyone in and
around the impact zone (East Chiltington, Plumpton, St JohnWithout, Chailey,
Cooksbridge, Wivelsfield, Lewes, Keymer, Hassocks, Ditchling and this section
of the South National Park) to make their democratic voice heard.
need your help because we living here in dog walking distance of the impact
zone are few in number. Horses, cows and sheep outnumber the local human
inhabitants. It's the countrysde and not a town. Been that way forever (so far).
a louder voice going to help stop the Eton New Town if the planning system as
it operates in this context today is
With enough support - the framework can be
Later:- While writing the above piece I noticed that
going up in the lanes around East Chiltington.
|permalink to this page|
Downs Eton by Dog
speculators working on behalf of Eton College want to build an entirely new
houses that's the new offer - formerly bid in 2012 as
houses) on open farmland fields - owned by Eton - which face the South
Downs in a rural parish called East Chiltington. Which place sounds
like a Saxon village in name - but true to its roots remains -
astonishingly still extant- a sparsely populated handful of single track
lanes, homesteads and micro hamlets which have mostly been swaddled together in
the way you see them now since before the Norman Conquest.
Chiltington? - never heard of it. That's why it's stayed special. Where is it?
On the northern side of the South Downs National Park and 5 miles west of the
city of Lewes in East Sussex. It's a 5 miles walk (or 11 miles drive) over
the Downs from the Falmer campus of Sussex University.
For a timeline
of stories about this development from the beginning of public awareness in
Februrary 2021 upto the present day see the home page of
the landscape assessment walks in East Chiltington
|What do you like in this
What makes you happy being here?
recognise the dogs?
Was it really that long ago?
Editor:- May 20, 2021 -
Published today - a new article - the landscape
assessment walks in East Chiltington - looks back at an event which
has particular relevance today - when we're thinking about what it is we're
trying to protect. ...read the article