Could the Chinese be on their way to Cranleigh – by train?

Funny old world isn’t it? First a local family (The Roberts’) want to build a housing development in keeping with the character of the village dubbed by councillors as…”Poor old Cranleigh!”

The land was once offered to Cranleigh Parish Council for a peppercorn pound and was turned down because it was “unsuitable for development with access off a narrow country lane!”

 No sooner than the outline scheme which proposed  125 “sympathetically designed”  homes at  Amlets Park are agreed, than along comes National Housebuilder Cala Homes, buys the site, and puts in a detailed application which bears little resemblance to the original scheme. But, despite the Herculean efforts of some Waverley councillors to oppose it, Liz “The Buiz” aka “the developers’ friend” wields her big stick again … to shove it through…

Recently councillors sent the developer packing and back to the drawing board to come up with a scheme Amlets Lane and Cranleigh could be proud of…and now the council awaits a revised scheme … and THEN !

… along comes…

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Cala builds large, high-end homes across the country, in affluent areas in the Midlands, Scotland, and around the M25, in what chief executive Alan Brown described as “Waitrose-type markets”. Its average selling price is £538,000, far higher than the UK average of £202,389.

Its owners Legal & General and Patron Capital have enlisted Lazard to help broker a deal to sell, three years after they bought the company for £210m.

A spokesman for Cala declined to comment on the specific details of a potential deal, but said: “Thanks to the quality of our brand and strong financial and trading performance, from time to time we may find ourselves the subject of speculation but from our perspective it is very much business as usual.”

Earlier this month, the reported an 18pc jump in pre-tax profits to £60.1m, with revenue up 15pc to £587.1m. Mr Brown said that while the company eyed up an IPO in 2014, it was not planning to list in the near future and was focused on reaching a revenue target of £1bn.

Evergrande recently announced its intention to sell a number of its non-core assets, including dairy, water and oil businesses. It is currently a shareholder in professional football club Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC

Let’s hope Cala Homes tell the Chinese that there isn’t actually a Railway Station in Cranleigh and have removed reference to it in its literature. Because if not, the Chinese could be  waiting a long time for the gravy train to Cranleigh from Waterloo!

Oh! and don’t forget to tell them that workmen that as well as arriving on the train,  will also be going to work  – on…………. their bikes! Bit like the Chinese really?

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