The Waverley Web has been contacted by ‘Cross of Cranleigh’. In fact, no holds barred, they’re not just cross, they’re very, VERY, VERY CROSS!
And, for once, they’re not talking about the proliferation of Cranes! – and, no, we’re not talking about the ones that gave rise to the village’s historic name: CRANE LEIGH! – When they talk about cranes, they’re talking about the construction cranes that are turning a once peaceful village into a full-blown new town that, if it keeps spawning cranes at the current rate, will give birth to a town on a par with Farnham. Yes, we’re talking about the birth of Cranleigh New Town!
Waverley Web has received correspondence of an altogether different but equally alarming and deadly devious nature!
Apparently, a Newsletter has been distributed to homes in Cranleigh’s burgeoning New Town, advising the townsfolk that a new village hospital is no longer going to fulfil the promise that Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust intended. CVHT, is a charity set up almost twenty years ago to provide a replacement hospital – for ‘local’ people.
It’s complicated story stretches back over two decades – so bear with us – but our researchers have established that back in the days when Cranleigh was, what it said on the tin, -‘ a village ‘- CVHT was established to replace an old cottage hospital, which was under threat of closure, and which was subsequently closed down by the NHS.
Villagers – a very civic-minded lot back then, so we’re told, – pulled together, dug deep (no, silly, not in their gardens! In their pockets! It’s only developers who go digging around in gardens and fields where they’re not wanted!) They held thousands of fund-raising events to raise the millions of pounds needed to build a modern, replacement hospital on land, formerly a playing field, and donated by the Parish Council in return for land across the busy Knowle Lane, to replace the playing fields.
So far so good. But now we learn from a Newsletter, sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org that there’s a fly in the ointment – no pun intended! Well, maybe just a little one, cos, if we didn’t laugh we’d cry!
Apparently, Cranleigh New Town is NOT now to get the spanking new Cottage Hospital it was promised, and which the locals raised funds for. Instead, it is getting a PRIVATE, PROFIT MAKING NEW NURSING HOME with 80 beds, to be built on land donated by the Parish Council, on behalf of its residents to whom it belongs, and with money raised by said residents!
You couldn’t make it up, really you couldn’t!
The scheme now includes 26 residential flats alongside the PRIVATE NURSING HOME and which the Trust claims will support the 20 community beds!
So what the very, VERY, VERY Cross of Cranleigh and we at Waverley Web want to know on their behalf… is?
Q: Did Cranleigh Parish Council, when swapping a very valuable piece of parish owned land, for a HOSPITAL, realise, all those years ago, that it could become a private venture by a developer and which would serve the entire population of the Guildford and Waverley Area?
Q: And did they understand that a former parish playing field would be used to build 26 residential flats, to service said privately owned for profit nursing home?
Whatever the answer to those very pertinent questions, as Very, VERY, VERY Cross of Cranleigh told us: … It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas for the owners of the new, privately owned, for profit nursing home!!!
Q: What of the village dubbed by Waverley Councillors as, ‘poor old Cranleigh!’?
A: More, much, much, much more traffic, in an already congested area (Knowle Lane – a narrow road with no pavements and with a business (Kerbside) which sees cars parked on double yellow lines every day of the week, narrowing the road to a single lane. Not to mention the Berkeley Homes’ development of 50 high-end executive homes, about to access onto it, and into the high street!)
Q: Where are the hospital services that were promised to Cranleigh residents as part of the new village hospital?
A: Back where it all started: in the old community hospital which was extended – again with money villagers raised – parts of which are now to be demolished, re-built and modernised … again … and again … and again!
Q: And who is the other winner here?
A: Certainly not the good people of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages. Some of whom left their homes to the Trust. Oh no! It’s good old Surrey County Council! The same County Council that has closed down an old people’s home in the village – called Long Field – and will, no doubt, trouser the money from selling off the site in order to try to plug the gap in its Gold Plated Pension Fund! The same County Council that will have “priority access” at the private nursing home, being built on publically owned land, with public’s money, for its clients!
PS. Oh, and just for good measure, WW has heard from very, VERY, VERY CROSS OF CRANLEIGH that a ‘local benefactor’ – AKA the Lettuce King – is about to trouser millions of pounds after obtaining planning permission for 265 homes in Cranleigh, whilst at the same time being behind The provision of said new PRIVATE NURSING HOME. Apparently, that’s the going rate for conducting a wrecking mission in a once peaceful rural area and turning it from a village into a NEW TOWN!
Ah well – that will teach people to support local fund-raising initiatives – and as for the parish council – maybe in future it will hang onto its valuable village assets?
Note: The Newsletter mentions WHEN planning permission is granted – NOT IF! Seems it is all in the bag! Another secret meeting with ‘Your Waverley’ perhaps?