this is the archived home page of wrongthingwrongplace.com on June 11, 2021. The date when ETON GREED was first published. ETON GREED is artwork #6 in the series planning protest artwork in East Chiltington 2016 to 2021.
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the Eton versus East Chiltington chronicles

In February 2021 the residents of East Chiltington learned that Eton College had plans to destroy their way of life by concreting over vast swathes of Sussex downland to build an unasked for and entirely unnecessary new town.
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Eton vs East Chiltington - first 15 weeks of news

no Eton New Town in East Chiltingtonhello Etongrad!
signs in the lanes
South Downs Eton by dog
Final Spring in Novington Lane?
the simple ma££s of planning gain
BBC's video tour of the Eton Greed site
1st cut to new town? - Nolands Plumpton
Lewes Planning Wars... the Fields of Eton
Eton's controversial plans to build 3,000 homes
DontUrbaniseTheDown - why our supporters object
the landscape survey assessment walks East Chiltington
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the story so far - Friday - June 11, 2021

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 along the boundary of the South Downs in a rural parish (of 150 households) called East Chiltington which is half in and half out of the National Park... Chiltington? - the East was acquired in modern times to help the Post Office in the 19th century - is a place which 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 (with a few exceptions) been scattered around the landscape in the way you see them now since long before the Norman Conquest.

East Chiltington? - never heard of it. That's why it's stayed special. And as a non nucleated village its landscape preserves the characteristics of the landscape which was more common in England before the 14th century. 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.

The timeline below - chronicles the public's growing awareness of the Eton new town threat to Lewes - and what was being said about it - from the end of February (when it first flared up in local conversations in the lanes affected) upto the middle of June.

summary - in those first 4 months...
  • national newspapers and BBC tv visited East Chiltington and reported the story
  • every party candidate in the county council elections said they would oppose the scheme. Lewes MP Maria Caulfield she would oppose the Eton new town scheme and would call it in if necessary
  • Parish councils surrounding the communities in the harms spatter-zone of the Eton initiative agreed to work together to oppose Eton-Welbeck's hostile plans.
short term strategic outlook

The Axis forces now hold both ends of North Barnes Lane:- Fairfax at Plumpton, Eton-Welbeck at East Chiltington.

In the first half of July we expect to see a decision on the Fairfax plan at Nolands Farm and the start of so-called consultation by LDC on its new plans in which Eton-Welbeck will advocate that their site be included and favoured in the call for sites.

Stepping back from the smoke and the forces mustering in the lanes around here - the Community Planning Alliance reveals the big picture in its aggregation of shared pain and shared wisdom from 400 campaigns around the UK.

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Eton's new town - wrongthingwrongplace

Timeline highlights

first public awareness to June 11

February 2021

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"Heading this way and portending the end of all life as we know it - an entirely new town at the end of the lane."
From the article hello Etongrad! in ChiltingtonLane.com - by resident C L Scribbler - which says - among other things...

"In the classic Bruce Willis scifi film Armageddon Earth is threatened by a giant asteroid which has been detected to be on course to crash into us and wipe out the surface of our planet. Something similar has been happening here in Chiltington Lane in recent days as (despite being locked legally tight in our all too familiar covid cells) news has been trickling in - sightings of a giant alien monolith which has been spotted to be on course to crashland a short stroll away in the vicinity of Novington Lane." ...read the article

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March 2021

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"Why can't they build it on the famous Playing Fields of Eton that cultivated such great statesmen as.... um.... Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, our beloved leader?"
Tom Pain responding to name for a new town west of Lewes - ideas? in the Lewes Forum

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"By the time the March magazine is received in our homes readers will doubtless have been made aware... of the threat of a development proposal of 3,000 houses at North Barns Farm which would undoubtedly change the character of our Parish to that of a small town similar in size to Hassocks."
Plumpton & East Chiltington Parish Magazine - March 2021

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"Cllr.Elms explained that East Chiltington did not have a neighbourhood plan as Lewes District Council designates the parish as a Hamlet not suitable for development. MP Maria Caulfield said - the District plan should act as a safeguard."
Minutes of the virtual meeting of East Chiltington Parish Council (March 10, 2021) - to agree the council response to the LDC draft methodology statement with particular regard to the proposed site for 3,000 houses at North barnes Farm, East Chiltington.

Editor's note:- you can confirm that East Chiltington is currently absent from the list of towns and parishes listed in the LDC Neighbourhood Plan page - which might be due to its special characteristics and its historic antipathy about having big makeover plans cast in its general direction.

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"The actions of the College highlight a long term weakness of the planning system. ...the Colleges main (business) activity on the land it owns has been the collection of rents from (agricultural) tenants. Now, with hardly any effort at all they may make a big profit."
Lewes Planning Wars... the Fields of Eton - article in the Lewes Eye

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"The Eton college proposal is completely unacceptable, and I have offered to call this in with the Secretary of State"
Maria Caulfield, MP, for Lewes

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"In summary, East Chiltington Parish Council does not consider that the proposed site is suitable, achievable, deliverable or developable..."
East Chiltington Parish Council in their 22 page response to draft inquiries- re site EC11. 206 hectares. 3,000 houses (pdf)

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"Eton College cherishes its own 550 year history and we'd like to see them treating this landscape with the same respect and sense of heritage..."
Mike Elms - East Chiltington Parish Councillor (March 19, 2021) - in a launch press release - by the Don't Urbanise the Downs - Stop East ChiltingTown action group.

5 days later:- the group's press release (mentioned above) was picked up and published by several UK news outlets including the The Times - 'Greedy' Eton wants to build 3,000 homes on unspoilt South Downs - and The Telegraph - 'Greedy' Eton College criticised over plans to overwhelm rural village with 3,000 new homes.

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Eton vs East Chiltington - Mail story March 2021
A story in the Mail Online (March 24, 2021) headlined - Angry villagers blast Eton over controversial plans to build 3,000 homes on 500-acre plot of unspoilt countryside it owns in East Sussex - says among things.

"Furious locals have accused Eton of double standards as the college seeks to reduce its own carbon footprint by installing LED lights in its houses and solar panels on its sports hall. Last year Eton's environment society held a Zoom webinar which focused on what 'everyone can do to help the environment." ...read the article

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BBC tv news clip of East Chiltington aired March 27, 2021
On March 27, 2021 - the BBC aired the first broadcast tv story about the East Chiltington vs Eton Welbeck new town development. This link - https://youtu.be/4y4l5fBCWOo - takes you to a 2 minute news clip from that broadcast which has been archived on YouTube. The copyright of the video is 100% owned by the BBC.

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new messages from campaign group
March 29, 2021 - newly updated web site by the campaign group Don't Urbanise the Downs
Worth another visit even if you saw it as recently as yesterday. Reveals some of the hard work which has been going on behind the scenes to weaponise local talents and create a cogent voice to represent residents and friends of these communities who would be in the devastation zone.

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April 2021

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protest letter about Eton new town in Plumpton East Chiltington  Parish Mag April 2021
No New Town in the South Downs was the headline in a letter by the campaign group Don't Urbanise the Downs which was inserted in print editions of the April 2021 edition of the Plumpton and East Chiltington Parish Magazine.

Among other things the letter says - "This (Eton College) scheme just doesn't make sense... its enormous scale is not supported by local housing needs or existing infrastructure... This loss of green space would damage the landscape of the South Downs forever... and concrete over historical farmland." ...click for larger picture here

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video April 2021 - no new town at foot of the Downs -  from Libdems - Eton vs  East Chiltington
Editor:- April 18, 2021 - Most of the initial fuss about Eton's new town plan has had its centre of gravity in East Chiltington and Plumpton - because that's where ground zero of the Etongrad incident would be. But a reminder that the fallout would also spoil a much wider area has surfaced in a recent campaign video on YouTube by the Liberal Democrats who have created a related online petition asking the government to stop plans to concrete over Sussex.

In the new video Sarah Osborne (who is standing as a candidate in the Ouse Valley West and Downs Ward in the forthcoming ESCC election) says - among other things...

"Eton College... want to concrete over this untouched farmland and that will have a devastating impact not just on the countryside but wildlife and on our rural community. The impact on the traffic will be huge - not just round here but in the villages beyond:- Ditchling, Chailey and Wivelsfield..." ...watch the video

See also:- list of candidates East Sussex County Council Election.

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Is this how it begins? - While your attention is diverted towards the big Eton Mess - could this Trojan Horse by another developer in the same lane let the new town in by the side door?
Editor:- April 16, 2021 - A detailed formal planning application LW/21/0262 has been lodged in the past week to build 89 houses on farmland in Plumpton Green along North Barnes Lane. The site - called Nolands Farm - isn't owned by Eton College - but is on land close to the Eton site. ...read why residents are saying No to Nolands
Nolands Farm site - thin end of the wedge  to enable Eton new town

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news East Chiltington Parish Council April 20, 2021 - halt new town
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Editor:- April 20, 2021 - ECPC has issued an update on its news page to signal what it's doing to "achieve an early halt to proposals to build 3,000 houses in East Chiltington on land owned by Eton College."

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May 2021

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NorthBarnesFarm.co.uk launched

to support Eton's new town plans in Lewes
North Barnes Farm web site launchEditor:- 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 on farmland in East Chiltington in the region of North Barnes Farm along Novington Lane and around Highbridge Lane. ...read the news story

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No Eton New Town

say new signs in East Chiltington

no Eton New Town in East Chiltington
news:- May 10, 2021 - At the weekend signs began appearing in the lanes and hedges around East Chiltington to alert friends and visitors to the risk that this countryside they're enjoying now will be lost forever if Eton College succeeds with its devastating new town plan. ...read the story

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Plumpton Parish Council news
May 17, 2021 - Plumpton Parish Council announced that an Inter-Council working party has been formed to fight the Eton College 'New town' threat and will also work together to oppose any unplanned and unwanted development.

This group is made up of councillors from East Chiltington, Plumpton, Chailey, Hamsey, Barcombe, Wivelsfield, Streat, Westmeston and Ditchling.

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Argus brings smiles to residents changing Eton  College to Eaton
A story in The Argus (May 29, 2021) headlined - Residents slam Eaton College plans to build near South Downs - added some amusement to its reporting of the grisly Eton vs East Chltington chronicles with its re-spelling of the principal antagonist's name to "Eaton" (sic) in the main headline and also in a related photo caption - although these little touches may have changed by the time you read this.

Among other things the Argus report quotes an Eton-Welbeck spokesman who said...
"The plans being developed represent an innovative and sustainable response to the need for local housing. All development at scale in England is likely to be controversial but we are committed to engaging with our local partners, stakeholders and the community to develop our plans with the needs of the district and the wider area as a central focus."
...read the article

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Eton Greed - the Eton vs East Chiltington chronicles - protest artwork #6
Editor:- June 11, 2021 - WrongThingWrongPlace.com today unveiled ETON GREED - a new artwork in the Eton versus East Chiltingon chronicles.

ETON GREED will be appearing in a number of specially created contextually related articles in coming days.

ETON GREED is #6 in the series - planning protest artwork in East Chiltington.
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say no to new town - wrong thing wrong place
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Eton Greed - the Eton vs East Chiltington chronicles - protest artwork #6
ETON GREED
this conversation is entirely imaginary and a work of friction

typist - I thought you were creating an artwork for my old article - hello Etongrad!

artist - I read that one - very nice. No - this one's for that new article I thought you said... Eton Greed.

typist - I think my spilling chucker must have clanged it.

artist - or your productive teat.

typist - typing fast affects my spooling too.

artist - so when are we going to see it?

typist - just need to fat cheque it first with legal.

artist - have you got a working title yet?

typist - Ms Mr Dr Prof Lady Lord..? Too long at the keyboard. What say you to... hello ETON GREED!

artist - it's a very small village isn't it?

typist - yes - all the good writers are busy doing letters.

...and yet - coming here soon on WrongWordWrongPlace-etc

ETON GREED - a definite article - and a new series too

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why are they doing this?
the simple ma££s of planning gain

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No Eton New Town sign in East Chiltington May 2021
No Eton New Town - say signs in the lanes

news:- May 10, 2021 - Signs are appearing in the lanes around East Chiltington to grab the attention of visitors to warn that this countryside will be lost if Eton College makes any progress with its new town plan. ...read the story

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What we learned from Covid?
We don't need schools.
Planning??? - 3 new guides

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Final Spring in Eton's new town zone?

views below as seen at and close to the Northern edge of the Eton owned site in East Chiltington (March 17, 2021)
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stream running near Novington Lane East Chiltington
Final spring?... the headline I used above - does that remind you of something?

For me it was half a thought away from Silent Spring. I was going to leave it there.

Sound familiar? Evoke any ideas? I'm sure it does for many of you. If not... Well anyway - it does no harm to say more about it here. And we're getting closer to connecting some ideas.
East Chiltington looking at the Downs from the Northern edge of the Eton site
the new town site - March 17, 2021
Silent Spring is a book. Many would say it's the classic book which sparked the fire of the ecological movement.

Rachel Carson's book was published in 1962 and what it said still had the power to both sadden me and shock me to the core when I read it in the 1980s. If you haven't read it yet It's a true story by the way. I can tell you this without spoiling the plot - the villain of the story is the agro chemical industry and its indoctrination of farmers by scientific and economic sophistry to kill nature which got in the way of business.

How could they do that? I thought - when I read it. My education was in electronics not touchy feely biological stuff. The book made me angry that people could do such stupid things. Didn't they know better?

Of course - by the time I first read that book - 20 years had passed since its publication - and we ALL knew better - mostly because of the impact that Carson's book and the movements it helped to educate had filtered through into the public at large.

What's Silent Spring got to do with Eton-Welbeck's new town plan for East Chiltington? Surely I'm not suggesting that DDT or some other modern kind of organophosphate pesticides are going to be sprayed over the site to clean it beforehand like some kind of bulk air freshener?

No. But similar kind of nature impacting idea... (maybe)

Here's my thinking. Pesticide residues can break down in the soil after a period ranging from weeks to months - and then the ground can be usable to grow something. The soil is not as good as it was before. And you might have killed most of the bugs and insects and birds for a long way around - and you also might have ruined the health of anyone who was breathing nearby - but you can still grow some stuff. Especially genetically modified crops whose DNA have been tuned to benefit from that kind of soil spring cleaning.
silent spring and concrETON image wrongthingwrongplacedotcom
What's this got to do with the new town? (These ideas seem a million miles away...)

We're getting closer...

I think concrete is the modern equivalent of the 1950s DDT villain which Carson wrote about in her book.

Once you have covered fields in concrete - they will be lost for hundreds of years as a natural ecosystem which cleans the air, drains the floodwaters and feeds us.

In some ways - concreting over precious green fields - when brownfield sites are available - in the 2020s in South East England - is more reckless and careless of the well being of future generations than spraying the 1950s fields of North American farms with plane loads of pesticides.

We should know better. And stop such things happening.

Going back to my title - Final Spring - someone who saw an early draft of that said to me - isn't that a bit strong? Didn't I know that the first phase of the planning consultation would take 2 years. Nothing's going to be built till then.

What I said was - yeah but - I've seen how things have happened on other development sites in other places... In those other places - the sites get cleaned up as part of a multi year preparation. Inconvenient trees and hedges get hair cuts. So that by the time the plans are ready to be submitted - the original sites are much tidier than they were at the start.

So... when such developers get around to filling in forms which ask questions - like:- will this affect any trees or hedges?

Tick the NO boxes, here, here and here. Nice and easy. Shiny new photos in the ecological survey report to prove what a clean site it is already.

Nature likes a bit of a mess.

So when I wrote - final spring? - I did mean it - as a cry of warning. Because if things go the wrong way - and accidents do happen - then I fear this could be the last time you see these places looking as untidy and natural as they do now. I would be happy to be proved wrong.

Better still. Stop the plans in their tracks. At every stage. Protect the future. We don't want to be the dupes portrayed in a future concrEton rewriting of Silent Spring.
East Chiltington Eton site  - sad grasses and  weeping skies
Rachel Carson resources
And no birds sing (BBC radio 2012) - "looks at the explosive impact of Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring and its role in the growth of the environmental movement."

The Environment in History - lists books recommended by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
final words on final Spring
Remember me saying something about the damage which would be caused by Eton-Welbeck's unneeded new town in East Chiltington?

And my new field equation...

DDT(1950s) = concrete(2020s)

where "=" means "is just as bad"

permalink for this article above

Now take a look at these statistics below.

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Natural grassland covers 5.8% of UK land area (in forests and semi natural areas).

Artificial surfaces cover 8.3%. That's 43% more!
Those statistics on UK Land Use come from a study Review of Key Trends and Issues in UK Rural Land Use - Report to The Royal Society (157 pages pdf) (August 2020) - 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

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grassland  lost to urbanisation in UK - report study
Editor:- July 9, 2020 - British grassland - greater in area than the size of Sussex and Suffolk combined was lost to urbanisation in the 25 years between 1990 and 2015 - according to a satellite based research study and report published today by the UK Centre of Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH).

"This information on how land cover has altered is crucial for understanding the impact of these changes on our environment, and helping us plan for the next 25 years" said Dr Clare Rowland - who led the production of the UK Land Cover Map 2015 and has been working with hydrologists to map land cover change and impervious surface to understand the impacts of urbanisation on the quantity and quality of water run-off.

Professor Bridget Emmett, Head of Soils and Land Use at UKCEH, says... With a growing population, the increasing demand for housing, food and fuel must be balanced with protecting the wildlife and ecosystems that bring a range of vital benefits for humans. Knowing what we have on our land surface and where is crucial when it comes to planning developments and environmental improvements in the future, and our maps are therefore essential tools for government agencies, water companies, land managers, NGOs and researchers" ...read the report

Editor's comments:- I was unaware of the above report when I wrote my Final Spring in Novington Lane article. But the dogs in the street knew that there was a serious problem emerging from the land-gain landgrab of greenfield sites by land promoters which were showing their visible signs of pain all over the "save our village / greenfields / rural landscape" web sites which I found on Google when the news about the Etongrad Armageddon hit us in February 2021 - when we were all closely confined in UK lockdown #3 wondering what to do next.

In retrospect - the instincts which guided the (anonymous to protect them) naming group to choose a suitable legacy name for the anti Eton Mess campaign group in East Chltington (to replace the temporary placeholder names used to kick things off by the group's founder Marc Munier) have proved to be well placed too.

In that context Don't Urbanise The Downs chosen (in March 2021) to be contextually easy to remember when placed on future road signs with their message of No Eton New Town - proved to be an inspired choice from both hearts and minds points of view.

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no Eton new town sign

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Eco Towns, Garden Cities, Garden Villages - I thought I understood English but it was a Developer who spoke them. Any idea what they mean?
The simple words eco and garden when prefixed to village, town or city can add up to create semi-descriptive phrases which are power loaded with wildly different connotations depending on who you are and the context in which they are encountered.

So you can't blame developers sprinkling these wordplay sauces liberally around their prospectus chalkboard menus to make their crunchy concreting dishes appear less ashen on the palette de jour. It's only natural!

On the other hand - countryphiles and rural protection campaigners who are at the unsolicited receiving end of these communications commonly report nocebo effects - including headache, nausea and a bitter aftertaste - due to a belief that jumbling together good words to disguise nature harming projects doesn't make their digestive outcomes any sweeter.

I was looking for a learner's guide to help me understand DeveloperSpeak And in a few clicks I found a very helpful phrase book on www.designingbuildings.co.uk

Here are links to translations of some DeveloperSpeak phrases which we might encounter more often in upcoming discourses on wrongthingwrongplace.com

eco town / garden town / garden city / garden community / garden village

Other competing interpretations are available.