History of the Association

In 1959, the East Dean and Friston Residents’ Association was formed in response to popular demand with a view to safeguarding the amenities and securing improvements where standards were already slipping.  Initially to improve both the antiquated sewage disposal system and the deteriorating roads.

Today, our community has a modern sewage system run by Southern Water and the Roads Company - East Dean Downlands (Roads) Ltd was established by the Association in 1984.

The focus of the Association has shifted as the needs of the community have changed.  We are able to represent the views of our members on a variety of local issues, as well as taking an active part in the maintenance of local amenities, road name plates and the community notice boards.

Background to the Downlands Estate   -   The Downlands Estate was brought into being by the vision and care of Frank Arnatt in the late 1920’s, the concept of preserving the countryside and harmonisation of the development with the landscape attracted widespread praise and encouragement.

The Estate began with Windmill Lane and spread down into Deneside, the layout of the private road system was planned and open spaces were incorporated in the design.  Interestingly, plots were originally intended to be substantial, mostly one to three acres.  Houses had to be individual architect-designed to meet aesthetic criteria and the plans approved by Mr Arnatt himself and his consultant architect.  The result, a community exceptional for its time, in sharp contrast to the lack of planning and incongruous, crowded development elsewhere.

 In 2012/13 The Residents’ Association was instrumental in purchasing The Greensward on behalf of the village.  Although a Registered Village Green and sited within the South Down National Park, it was felt by the vast majority of residents that it should be acquired in order to retain it for the village.  By adding a restrictive covenant forbidding any future development of any kind it has been retained for public use in perpetuity.  The Association is grateful to all those who provided financial support to enable the purchase to proceed quickly and within the tight time frame given.