£ton versus East Chiltington chronicles|
Eton New Town
say new signs in East Chiltington,
St John Without, Chailey, Cooksbridge,
Ditchling, Lewes, Westmeston ...
|Monday, May 10, 2021
At the weekend signs began appearing in the lanes and hedges
around East Chiltington to grab
the attention of friends and visitors to these lanes that there is a clear and
present danger that this countryside will be lost forever if Eton College gets
its way with its devastating self enriching new town plan.
agreed with the sentiment of the protest sign placement here at the parish
boundary heading towards
ground zero at
Etongrad - I felt I had to remove it after taking this picture. I
lesson from the Highways Agency about the correct way to place such signs 5
years ago in a way which makes them legal.
|and here's another|
|No Eton New Town - is the
- the sender
I've been hearing many different ways of saying the
same thing (with different permutations of Say / No / Eton / New Town)
since news that Eton wants to destroy East Chiltington first broke into public
awareness 3 months ago.
I think the poster is an excellent design.
And I love the idea that I'll soon be seeing it everywhere. (Furthest I've seen
so far - was over towards Ditchling.)
PS - later - I will include a
link so you can make your own - in case you haven't got one yet.
below is the eastern main entrance to
Etongrad - at
the East Chiltington end - where North Barnes Lane meets Novington Lane. The
western end of North Barnes Lane is at Station Road in Plumpton - which would
merge into the Eton disturbation if the
development were to go ahead.
|more signs in Novington Lane|
turn right ahead to Highbridge Lane
below - turn right at the bend to
enter North Barnes Lane
|just some of the hundreds of posters against
the Eton plan|
above - © Steve Chailey from his Facebook posts re signs|
|image below ©
Boulton from her Highbridge Lane photoshoot - which was used in the
Sussex Express story -
opposing plans for 3,000 new homes on Eton College-owned land spring up in East
cycling in Chiltington
|more about cyclists|
May 18, 2021
- I heard from the DUTD
group yesterday that they have been seeing contributions to their (public)
funding pot from cyclists who have seen these signs, looked up what it's
about and decided to donate money to help the campaign. Thanks.
years ago I attended some delightful meetings with neighbours to discuss
whether we could designate Chiltington
Lane a quiet lane. The speed limit on this single track lane is 60mph. We
came to the conclusion that nothing could be done under the present rules as we
didn't have enough houses along on the road (a lot less than 20 houses on the
road in one mile). And
is lower than us.
But I remember we talked about the fact that - if
legislation changed - in future we should reach out more to cyclists - as there
were more of them than us (living here, walking or riding on horses) and we
all have the same interest in wanting to feel safe while being in a quiet
narrow lane with pretty views.
I had discovered in 2016 from reading
objection letters - that even though we didn't know them personally - some
cyclists and their clubs had helped us to defeat past developer plans
which had threatened to destroy the quiet of these lanes. That's the kindness
of strangers you never forget.
When the time comes, see also:-
XXX [insert] Lewes planning person
- can you guess where this is?
clue:- a short splash from a jolly...
below - Mill Lane, South Chailey by the School - which will become a
car park for the new town residents during peak traffic - and a race track for
traffic heading to Lewes
below - I saw this one on the way to the GP.
It's another 2 signs for the price of 1.
to see what's on offer.
|above - Hollycroft. This is just the many signs I saw here - and my
phone battery was already low before I started. I had several interesting
conversations on this walk which I will write about later. If you walk anywhere
in East Chiltington the journey can take hours - even if the distance is merely
hundreds of yards. That's not a new thing caused by the
plan - it's been like that for the 14 years I've lived here.|
July 18, 2021 - I took the scenic route back home through Ditchling, past the
primary school where my sister's kids went long ago. Saw several signs in
lovely locations but couldn't safely stop. Then I drove past this one (above)
in Westmeston. Stopped as soon as I could and walked back. Had an
enjoyable chat with sign's neighbour about what's the best way to get a bike
up the slopes.|
I often used to walk across the top. But walking up
steep slopes carrying
a picnic is troublesome
enough enough - the idea of dragging a
bike through tangles
is daunting so I haven't tried it yet. I was given good advice about tracks.
I don't know about you - but when I see these signs I think - that's someone
who really cares about our future. Someone you can easily talk to.
|above - 2 signs in Station Rd, Plumpton - one
saying White House Farm - the other saying No Eton New Town. This house backs
onto another speculative development along North Barnes Lane -
Farm application by land promoter Fairfax (April 2021) - which was met by
over 600 local objections. The entrance to that "new community" site
(89 houses to begin with) would involve demolishing 2 houses very close to
this spot. A decision hadn't yet been made when I took this photo on July 23,
2021 - day of the DUTD's first public exhibition.|
|wrapping up this protest sign blog|
I started taking photos of these signs and sharing them in this article in
early May 2021 - I knew I was only recording a small percentage of the
hundreds which were produced, assembled and sited in the first volunteer
wave. A limiting factor at the time was getting enough stakes - because of the
logistics legacy of UK Covid Lockdown #3.
These protest signs were
an early key part of a multi-dimensional public statement signalling that
residents in and around East Chiltington were opposed to the Eton new town
plan. The other dimensions being membership of protest groups, messaging and
As the protest poster numbers headed past the
first thousand - colour became a new ingredient. And the design changed subtly.
I'll be writing more about that in my series - planning protest
artwork in East Chiltington 2016 to 2021.
The Don't Urbanise the Downs
artworks are #4 in that series BTW.
I have delayed writing it -
because I knew that the new colour posters were being designed and I wanted
to make sure that I could get all the core DUTD designs properly
represented in that article in their historic contexts.
for reading this article.
It's not the zingiest or the stingiest
in the Eton versus East
Chiltington Chronicles - but I hope that in future years - when we've
finally won this anti-concrETON
war - people will look back and say - look! - that's the lane where I
live in that old article. Things haven't changed much have they? (Except that
tree's grown bigger.)
My name is Zsolt Kerekes.
PS - did you know - that the
Don't Urbanise the Downs logo - which appeared on their website in March 2021
- and which you see in variations in the protest signs in this article - is
artwork #4 - in my history commentary series - planning protest artwork in
East Chiltington 2016 to 2021 - which discusses these artworks, the campaigns
and the artists.
The protest artwork count - including
picture burning by Grant Dejonge on July 29, 2021 - is now upto #8.
(#9 is expected to be a video.)
Here's one of those other
East Chiltington anti new town protest artworks from that series (by
different artists) below.
above - 2 signs in
if you don't trust my tally. These were among the first signs in the ground I
saw on May 8th - but I thought I'd come back on a sunnier day to take this
Here in this view it would be
to the right of them, Eton to the left of them, Eton in front of them. And Eton
behind, Volleyed and thundered... You know how this goes... Truthfully
we're well short of 600 in East Chiltington (we few residents) but we have that
spirit and will not be deterred by the sulphurous fumes of Eton Welbeck's
It still works then - I thought. That's good.It was lunchtime,
Thursday, May 13, 2021 - I had noticed a
cyclist in Chiltington
Lane stop and dismount his bike to stand in front of and stare at one of
the many protest signs in Chiltington Lane. He looked at the sign and started
looking things up on his mobile phone.
Later - a delivery van driver
dropping off some packages said - what are all the signs about? We spent the
next couple of minutes talking about it.
Flashback - 5 years
29, 2016 - The webstats on the protest group website
wrongththingwrongplace.com had gone crazy. We had only put out the signs the
week before and we knew everyone in the Chiltington Caviar Farm Action Group
What's going on?
Incoming referals from Facebook
and Twitter. We don't even have that many people in our group!
neighbour John A was right. He was the one who had suggested that when round #2
of the planning application appeared (the first iteration having been withdrawn
due to the weight of objections) we should place signs along the roads to show
that everyone was against it.
I was skeptical. As a web publisher for
20 years at that time - I was very dubious about wooden signs.
D. (described in
later Argus article as "one of the masterminds of the wrong thing,
wrong place campaign") said - OK let's do both.
In the quiet
lull after the first application had been withdrawn (we didn't have signs or a
website then) a group was set up to design posters with a stark black and
white design and a simple to remember web address to support the campaign.
When that planning application came back for round #2 - we launched the web
site and placed the signs ASAP.
The web stats showed - without any
doubt - that people driving and cycling through the lanes did engage with
the signs. And remembered what they'd seen. And that followed through later with
external offers of support and it delivered real objections too.
forwards - 5 years - to the present day.
A new problem. A new
group. The same community spirit.
Etongrad, Eton Mess, North Barnes
Farm Development, Eton New Town, Great Blighton -
you call it is orders of magnitude worse in its potential environmental
impact than the 2016 caviar farm.
The cyclist I saw today - suggests
that the campaign group donturbanisethedowns.com
will get some serious leverage from these simple proven tools of community
Well done to all involved in making this happen. You
know who you are and we don't want the developers to know till after it's won.
The ground in some places is like
as many of you can testify. If in doubt use a metal spike to get started and
just bash harder is the only advice I can give.
I'm not officially part of any protest group against the Eton new town
development in East Chiltington. I just live here and feel that Eton College
should be ashamed that they still wear the mantle of being a charitable
organization at the same time that they agressively initiate and pursue such
|below - 2 signs for the price of 1 - in
above - Chiltington Lane, below -
- the Forge in Highbridge Lane
the industrial furnace of East Chiltington
maker of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
posters back in 2017
without a sign? - May 17, 2021|
|Not everyone who lives in East
Chiltington is an ardent fan of these signs. |
I was walking past a
neighbour's house in
at the weekend and was surprised to see no sign.
Have you run
out? - I asked someone in the protest group, later.
Yes - but "Neighbour
without a sign" was offered one before that happened. He thinks the
signs are bland and far too small. He's designing one that's going to make a
much bigger statement.
I look forward to seeing it. Sounds like it
might be visible from space (maybe) or the the South Downs (for sure).
thought the idea of donturbanisethedowns etc was to stop things being built that
could disharmonise the view from the protected havens of the high elves. I mean
the fortunate inhabitants of the National Park - who are protected by their
magic rings. Can we borrow one please? - for those of us living on the other
side of the railway track. ...more
Can you name the lanes in these pictures
which don't have any captions?
above - Chiltington Lane
Highbridge Lane on the way to the Forge. On the right hand side of this lane is
part of the huge Eton site. (It's the
field of 2020 - and the setting for a
artwork by artists Grant Dejonge in 2021.) The Eton site is also on the
left of this view - immediately behind all the houses.
|below - Mill Lane, South Chailey|
above - I planted the hedge on the left
to match the one on the right
the little laurels came as twiglets in the
luckily I'm not the one who has to trim them
below - this was
one of the first to go up in Chiltington Lane
after the first black and white signs were
in their pretty perches - we saw the arrival of colour. |
feature of the new design is the secret recipe of the ink - a special
formulation which converts incoming solar rays into outgoing deterrent rays
which are specially tuned to the auras of
promoters. These reflected beams are invisible to the naked eye but
prolonged exposure is predicted by simulation models to break down ecology
harming auras into harmless breathable air.
The small print.
- Use care when hammering sharp stakes.
- Coloured protest signs are provided as
decorative items and must not be resold as actual totem medecines.
- Claims that harmful
auras can be broken down due to coloured signs have not yet been substantiated
by recognised medical trials.
- No rats or plants or other beings were
involved in the lab experiments which helped to populate the simulation