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the Eton versus East Chiltington chronicles
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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 more
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hello Etongrad!
Housing fight in Lewes (BBC)
Final Spring in Novington Lane?
the simple maths of planning gain
Where inexactly is Chiltington Lane?
name for a new town west of Lewes?
No Eton New Town - say signs in the lanes
... North Barnes Farm entrance from Novington Lane
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and the name is...
North Barnes Farm
northbarnesfarm.co.uk

Eton-Welbeck launches website to promote new town
Editor:- May 7, 2021 - Developer 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 Novington Lane and around Highbridge Lane.

As predicted in my article - Hello Etongrad! (Feb 2021) the developers have eschewed a wide range of more apt names which 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.
North Barnes Farm web site launch
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 greed 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 property developer (acting under the tax cover of a charity).

Why's it 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 Eton and 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 property companies.

North Barnes Farm, Eton Mess, Etongrad... Whatever name you prefer to call it by - in your thoughts about it - remember it's the 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."

Eton-Welbeck - 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 Washington Post's journalism 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 world's most competent user of Twitter.

But - that was political democracy at work and the US. This is planning and England.

Eton-Welbeck aren't 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 pre 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:- CPRE 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.

In 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.

We 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).

How's a louder voice going to help stop the Eton New Town if the planning system as it operates in this context today is systemically undemocratic?

With enough support - the framework can be changed.

Later:- While writing the above piece I noticed that signs have going up in the lanes around East Chiltington.
Entrance to North Barnes Lane site of proposed Eton new town at the East Chiltington end in Novington Lane May 2021
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South Downs Eton by dog - wrongthingwrongplace.com

South Downs Eton by Dog

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What's Silent Spring got to do with Eton-Welbeck's new town plan for East Chiltington?
Final Spring in Novington Lane?
silent spring and concrETON image wrongthingwrongplacedotcom

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context

Property speculators working on behalf of Eton College want to build an entirely new town (3,250 houses that's the new offer - formerly bid in 2012 as 5,000 houses) on open farmland fields - owned by Eton - which face the South Downs in a rural parish called East Chiltington. Which place sounds almost 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.

East 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 wrongthingwrongplace.com

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the landscape assessment walks in East Chiltington

What do you like in this landscape?

What makes you happy being here?

Do you recognise the dogs?

Was it really that long ago?
. the landscape survey walks in East Chiltington remembered

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