Artist burns artwork in protest of Eton housing development in Sussex

  • Watch the video report by ITV Meridian's Andy Dickenson

An artist has set fire to his painting in a Sussex village, in protest over the development of a new town.

Property agents for Eton want to develop a new town called North Barnes Farm on land between Plumpton Green and East Chiltington, a few miles to the north of Brighton, over the next 25 years.

Campaigners are up against Eton College, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the world, and said it is the wrong development in the wrong location.

Artist, Grant Dejonge used a blowtorch to set alight his painting in the same field he painted it, to represent his frustration.

He said: "Next to a village of 150 houses on the border of the newest national park in this country they are proposing to build 3,000 houses. We haven't got an A road, we haven't got any gas, we haven't got any water and it's a flood plain. It couldn't make any less sense."

  • Grant Dejonge, Artist:

Mr Dejonge said it is not a case of not wanting to have developments but rather how many are happening.

He said: "There's two developments already going on in Plumpton, in Hassocks and in Burgess Hill. We have developments here, developments are going on left, right and centre.

"This is not a case of not in my back yard, this is a case of can we please have a back yard left when you finish building."

Campaigners do not want the development in the hamlet to go ahead Credit: ITV Meridian

However, Andrew Simpson, the planning consultant for North Barnes Farm, said it is not a traditional housing development.

He said: "We're starting with a farm in a landscape. We very much want to address the needs for affordable homes, we want to create jobs, we want to build a place that will be beautiful that will be zero carbon and will have no net impact on the environment. And that takes a lot of work and a lot of thinking."Reuben Young from Priced Out campaign group said the new development could actually be beneficial to the environment because some homes are poorly efficient.

He said: "If we keep blocking housing, then emissions are just going to rise and rise and there's no way we'll get to net zero by 2050, which is what we need to do."

  • Reuben Young, Priced Out campaign group:

The developers insist their designs mark new ways of thinking, while campaigners argue that nearby country lanes could take 3.5 million more car journeys a year as a result.