Eton v the sea trout: college’s land sale sparks fears of river pollution

Controversial plan to build 3,000 houses in Sussex will have ‘catastrophic impact’ on environment, say wildlife campaigners

Two of the UK’s oldest institutions – Eton College and trout fishing – are heading for an unexpected, watery confrontation. The battle has been sparked by an announcement by the £42,000-a-year boarding school that it plans to sell off 500 acres of East Sussex for a massive housing development. The move has triggered widespread anger, with infuriated members of the fishing community arguing that the proposal is a threat to one of the most important spawning grounds of the sea trout in England.

The proposed 3,000-house new town would be built at North Barnes Farm, near East Chiltington, at the edge of the South Downs National Park. The Bevern stream, part of the River Ouse catchment area, runs through the land and is a nationally important spawning ground for sea trout.

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