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the Eton versus East Chiltington chronicles

the simple ma££s of planning gain

lesson #1 - first find your fields

North Barnes Lane, East Chiltington, Plumpton...

and for any old field plots hereabouts...

£1.8 million / acre is the gain from getting planning permission without having to build anything at all

and here the lesson endeth
Editor:- May 17, 2021 - today in a new comment to the Lewes Forum - on the subject of housing - Uiop said - "There's a disconnect between houses being built and land developers putting in plans to convert greenfield agricultural sites to build houses."

Nothing remarkable about that - right?

But then this thread goes on to mention a 2009 story- See how the land lies - by Ellen Kelleher in the FT (June 19, 2009) - which does sound spookily pertinent to the property reformulations in which East Chiltington finds itself stirred up today.

Among other things that above mentioned FT article - 12 years ago- reported... "Welbeck Land, a property development group, is hoping to raise 100 million in new equity, part of which will fund efforts to obtain planning consents for farmers to increase the value of each acre from 5,000 to more than 2 million in parts of Sussex. In return, Welbeck will receive 20% of the profits when the land is sold..."

Editor's comments:- I did mention - "200x gain on the land alone (gov.uk data)" - in my February 28, 2021 - hello Etongrad! - but not everyone who saw the link will have downloaded the spreadsheet - and new readers have been joining us - so apologies for the repetition if you already saw that before.

North Barnes Lane? - why did I choose that in the headline above and not North Barnes Farm - which is Eton's placeholder name for its new town? It's not just about Eton and its land - although Eton's plans are the ones attracting most attention from local resident activitists.

At the time of writing this (May 2021) - North Barnes Lane - a bridleway connecting between Novington Lane in East Chiltington and Station Road in Plumpton - appears to be a potential hotspot for at least 3 different new community plan developments on the fields along its full length and on either side of the lane.

Going back to historical times - it is understood locally that all this land was once owned by members of a family called Awbery - which sold about 500 acres to Eton College. Local sources

3 planning hotspots along North Barnes Lane?

1) - At the Plumpton end of North Barnes Lane - an application was made by land promoter Fairfax (on behalf of various owners of the land including the 2 houses which need to be demolished to create access) in April 2021 - LW/21/0262 - to build 89 new houses on the fields to the East of Plumpton Lane. Objections had topped 390 when this piece was written. Read more in - Nolands Plumpton - 1st cut to new town?

2) - At the Plumpton-Chiltingon border along North Barnes Lane - is a chunk of land still owned* - it is locally believed - by the Awbery family. Regardless of who owns it - this is a different plot to the Eton land - according to Eton's recently shared maps. Speculating on the future of this land (sandwiched between the clearly labelled Fairfax and Eton-Welbeck plots) it is reasonable to assume in the current planning framework that should the Fairfax site get permission to build its 89 houses - that this precedent (with its access road for cars) would be regarded by any serious developer as a green light and pragmatic opportunity to offer the Chiltington side of these inbetweener fields as a plot for some kind of housing development too.

3) - And in the middle of North Barnes Lane and heading towards the Chiltington end to Novington Lane - is of course the North Barnes Farm land owned by Eton - which has been variously described by Eton in past years and various documents as being suitable for 3,000, 3,250 or 5,000 homes. (Final figures - ranging from none to more than any these previously mentioned - still yet to be publicly discussed and decided by the planning system.)

* ownership of land is hard to research and confirm. So statements and widely held opinions as to who owns what and when - which are made in public discourse and news articles can be made in good faith but may still be liable to errors. The paper referenced below has an academic perspective on this ownership topic.

landownership structure of England - academic paper
Editor:- Review of Key Trends and Issues in UK Rural Land Use - Report to The Royal Society (157 pages pdf) (August 2020) - is a useful resource which (among other things) also says this.

"Landownership data is notoriously difficult to obtain in the UK and even today information on who owns rural land in the country remains clouded in secrecy and difficulties. Church and Ravenscroft point towards - the problems of identifying owners, especially in areas where land registration is incomplete (many areas of rural England) and land is rarely bought and sold (registration only taking place as a result of such a transaction).

The current landownership structure of England is outlined in Table 4.2"
land ownership in the UK - click to see the full report by University of Reading
read the report
did Lewes planning really say that??

after 400 objections to Nolands - North Barnes Lane

6 hours later there were 180 more
the North Korea mindset crisis in LDC


click to see this reportby TCPA
"Recent decades have brought us to a position where the money valuation of land and buildings is now about 80% of all tangible assets in the UK: totally dominant.

There is widespread agreement that the UK economy is over-dependent on the maintenance and pursuit of asset values: it is a source of instability and a key mechanism in reproducing and amplifying the inequality of wealth between social classes (and among generations within the property-owning classes).

It makes housing absolutely unaffordable to working class people in most regions and relatively hard to afford for many middle-income households.

Land values grow as population expands, as (at least many peoples) incomes rise, prompting a desire for more space, as public infrastructure improves and environmental quality goes up.

A distinct and special uplift in value can be realised when permission is given for land to be developed."

Professor Michael Edwards in his essay - How much land value should be captured for collective purposes?
The wrong answers to the wrong questions - 11 essays - countering the misconceptions driving the Governments planning reform agenda - a report by an independent group of planning academics (August 2020)

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

LDC's new Local Plan
could retune your satnav
to the Eton new town
Captain Feary reads the scrolls
planning??? - 3 new guides

Chiltington Lane
In the old days you might see one or two cyclists peddling valiantly towards prospects new. They weren't always going in the same direction. Sometimes they'd be going from left to right (Lewes to Plumpton). Or right to left (Plumpton to Lewes). And on any given day there wasn't any particular sense that there was a single preferred direction. Those were free range cyclists going their own way. The coming of the arrows were like the footprints in the sand seen by Robinson Crusoe...
a collective noun for Cyclists in a quiet lane?
cyclists in the lane