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the Eton versus East Chiltington chronicles

the Nolands Farm digression - part 2

see also part 1

Nolands Farm site - thin end of the wedge  to enable Eton new townIn April 2021 a land promoter called Fairfax filed a formal planning application to build a new access road and 89 houses in Plumpton on fields just west of the Eton College new town site in North Barnes Farm in East Chiltington. Fairfax's Nolands Farm plan had already garnered 400 objections and the consultation period was still open when the LDC planning office dropped a bomb shell interjection.

did Lewes planning really say that??

the North Korea mindset crisis

400 objectors must be wrong

then another 216 swiftly followed

Glorious Opinion outvotes all Plumpton peasants - puppet democratic leaders better to keep mouths shut in future - stop wasting planner's time

Editor:- Sunday, May 23, 2021 - On Friday evening (May 21) residents learned of a worrying development in the Nolands planning application. A new document from LDC planning had appeared some hours before- which said - in effect that LDC planning recommended that the application should go ahead. This was while arguments for objection were still trickling in and it was impossible that LDC could have paid any serious attention to what had been said in the more than 400 objections received up to that morning. Furthermore - residents were led to believe that if they had any further objections - these had to made before midnight that same day (Friday).

blank screen LDC page for LW/21/0262 comments for 36 hours from May 21st early eveningFor 36 hours since hearing that news - it was impossible to get any visibility of what was going on. The LDC page showing comments for this scheme was blank Friday night, and all day and night Saturday. I have screenshots from various devices and times which prove this.

Sunday morning - 10.50am as I write this the LDC comments page for Nolands shows that 180 additional objections had been made since Friday evening - giving a total of 586 objections as of now. Not all of these are followup objections - some are from new objectors for the first time.

The portal page also shows the LDC support letter in a way which suggests it has been backdated by several days. This is because the displayed comments on this page go through a revision process - which adjusts the first-viewed date to the sent-date.

However - the notice period given by LDC for followup comments (less than a day) is a critical fault in the process by LDC planning which may provide grounds for legal review and rebuttal if there is a need by residents to overturn an adverse decision made by the committee.

As I stated in my first objection to this - on April 16th - there are strong area wide democratic planning arguments for postponing any decision on Nolands and wrapping it up in the same review process as the Eton-Welbeck plot and others. More from me about this on Monday.

Well done to everyone. It's disgraceful that the LDC planning system acts in a way which ambushes, disregards and harms so many residents.

PS - I've not yet read more than a handful of the 180 new objections - so if I haven't quoted from yours - I'm sorry.

In the box below you'll see just some of the first couple of letters I dipped into - which sum things up much better than I can do.

an extract below from 180 additional objections made last Friday - in response to the "LDC opinion" crisis
"I am surprised that planning officers employed by LDC have publicly expressed a professional opinion on the application at this stage of the process. I had perhaps naively thought that professional assessments from local authority officers would be drawn up in the light of representations from the public, relevant authorities, utility organisations etc. to guide the council on the merits of applications, how they might be assessed against the planning framework, and on public reaction. Until such time as all comments have been received and assessed, how can professional planners be in a position to reach an impartial, rounded view on which to base their advice to the council?" read more
Mr Barnaby Holbeche - 11:05 PM, May 21, 2021

another extract below from 180 additional objections made last Friday - in response to the "LDC opinion" crisis
I am writing to extend my comments objecting to this application in the light of the consultee response from Robert King, an LDC planning officer, that recommends acceptance of the application while acknowledging that it is in direct conflict with the Lewes District Local Plan. It also cities the ways in which, in his opinion, the application meets the sustainability criteria in LDC's Interim Policy Statement for Housing Delivery.

This opinion appears to minimize the major disadvantages of this application as evidenced by the 400 or more objections to it and the fact that is in direct conflict with the most recent assessment of local housing needs across Lewes District in the local plan. and that even more specifically for Plumpton contained in the Plumpton Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

All this for 89 houses which, as Mr King acknowledges, are unlikely to be built before the new local plan is expected to be in place at the end of 2023, and probably not for some years after that. Thus this site would contribute little towards the increased housing target faced by LDC.

In assessing the level of compliance of this application with the sustainability criteria in the LDC's Interim Policy Statement Mr King's comments ignore: - the scale and density of the development and thus its impact on the character and size of Plumpton. The density is emphasized by the 'efficient use of the land' as described by Mr King, which is no doubt a result of the land promoter attempting to minimise the perceived impact of the site on existing trees, hedges and green space.

This high density approach has also resulted in a lack of visitor parking on the site which, according to the Sussex Police in their comments, could lead to illegal parking, obstruction of the roads and friction between neighbours. - the impact on vehicular traffic in Plumpton that adding 87 households will have with all the vehicles channeled on and off the site via a single road access onto Plumpton Lane - a road that already experiences traffic jams and parking problems at peak traffic times.

The figures used by the developer to dismiss such concerns are based on inappropriate comparisons with urban areas. The number of road journeys per vehicle and household are much higher in rural areas with limited local employment opportunities and facilities as shown on the East Sussex in Figures website previously cited by Dr John Kay in his objection:- the proximity of the housing in the proposed development to the eastern boundary of Plumpton and the potential for coalescence with East Chiltington that this affords.

Unlike Mr KIng in my view the balance of benefits and disadvantages of this application suggest that it should not be granted approval read more
Ms Janet Downes - 10.56 PM, May 21, 2021

update:- Wednesday, May 26, 2021

the PPC strikes back!

Among other things - Plumpton Parish Council quotes Lewes MP, Maria Caulfield - who said in a recent interview (May 19th)

"I have had confirmation from the Government department that there is no increase in housing numbers for the local area and the housing need calculation is a guidance figure only and not a target... In addition the current local plan still carries legal weight in planning terms." read more

see also:- news coverage from the start of Nolands


frenemies at the gates of North Barnes Lane

As June 2021 began - the Axis forces held both ends of North Barnes Lane

Fairfax at the Plumpton end
Eton-Welbeck at East Chiltington

news:- June 10, 2021 - There has been a lot of confusion about the status of LW/21/0262 - Nolands Farm, Plumpton. For me too.

It's a bad enough scheme in its own right for residents and visitors to Plumpton.

But in the context of Eton's hostile new town offensive in East Chiltington - the application by land promoter Fairfax - if granted - would move the boundary of urbanisation significantly into North Barnes Lane - and provide a new route for traffic from Plumpton Lane by the demolition of existing houses - which is an integral part of this plan. See extracts from 616 objections so far and learn more about it here.

NB - Fairfax (the land promoter of Nolands Farm) is a different company to Welbeck (land promoter for Eton College's new town). The closeness of timing and sites was originally just a coincidence. But Fairfax did reply in a site meeting question in April that they had had talks about this site with Welbeck.

These 2 speculative developers have a common interest in smashing apart the limits of the local plans in any way that they can. And it is reasonable to assume that if they can colloborate as frenemies - while still maintaining their own business and legal interests - then that's what objectors should assume will happen.

It's not just objectors who can form alliances and groups. Developers are clever too.

So - if you've been wondering why I sometimes rabbit on about "Nolands" when you've come here to read about the "Eton new town" - it's because they are closely linked plots - dramatically in story telling terms and planningwarfarewise - on the ground in real life too.

3 planning hotspots along North Barnes Lane? - is discussed in my earlier blog the simple ma££s of planning gain

the new field equation... (it's not Physics)

concrete(2020s) = DDT(1950s)

where "=" means "is just as bad"
silent spring and concrETON image wrongthingwrongplacedotcom
Final Spring in Novington Lane?

How many more Sussex's can we afford to lose?

GB lost an area of grassland to urbanisation bigger than Sussex and Suffolk combined in just 25 years - according to a satellite based research study and report by UKCEH. One cause? £2 million / acre gain in value by land promoters getting planning permission to redesignate fields for houses in Sussex. ...read more on facebook

Chiltington Lane meets Highbridge Lane  to say no to Eton new town
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


the simple ma££s of planning gain

Dear XXX [insert] Lewes planning person

1st sightings of Armageddon - Eton's new town Etongrad