Just hours after villagers delivered a crushing blow to plans to build a private care home in Cranleigh, the application​ was refused.

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A deputation led by Andy Webb delivered petitions containing four thousand signatures to the Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council today Monday as officers were preparing to notify the applicants – its scheme was REFUSED.

The decision was made by planning officers under their delegated powers – and will not now be heard by the Joint Planning Committee. The reasons for refusal have not yet been announced. But it is believed the scheme was not appropriate in its present form.

The unprecedented deluge of objections against a Cranleigh Charity’s planning application has almost buried ‘The Bury’s’ in Godalming – Waverley’s headquarters. It is the largest number of objections the authority has ever received for a village application, rivalled only by over 5,000 objections made against the huge redevelopment in the centre of Farnham.

Its planning portal has also registered a staggering 300 letters of objections from residents of the eastern villages, including donors from all over the country and abroad.

Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust lodged a planning application in February 2018 to build an £18m care home for the national private home operator HC-One. However, its Its 20-year quest was to build a Hospital. This became a 60-bed care home including 20 ‘community beds’ and a 28-bedsit hostel for health workers for the Guildford & Waverley CCG. Soon to become a huge organisation covering Surrey and East Hampshire – to be called Surrey Heartlands.

Anger has mounted among thousands of small and larger donors of the £1.5m plus collected by Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust for a replacing the old Cranleigh Village Hospital. This was intended for the exclusive use of the eastern villages. This then morphed into the facilities mentioned above for the CCG area, giving rise to a tidal wave of anger which has multiplied into an uproar in recent months. Public meetings have brought calls for land donated by Cranleigh Parish Council to be returned to the village, and a land-swap quashed.

Much of the frustration has been prompted by a lack of transparency by the Charity who have stubbornly refused to face villagers and explain reasons for its change of plans. It argued it would update everyone once permission was in the bag. 

Forensic accountants have also poured over the charity’s accounts, and want numerous questions answered on how public donations were spent.  The upset has caused a breakdown in relations between the charity and its partners, the parish council and the Cranleigh Village Hospital League of Friends. The latter organisation operates outpatient clinics and a  new £500,000 X-Ray department.

Villagers are now fundraising to improve the facilities there – and, it is believed it has been short-listed to become a new Urgent Care Centre.

The bid to stop the development escalated this week when the petition was handed over to Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows by its instigator Alfold villager Andy Webb founder of the Cranleigh Community Group – that has championed villagers fight to stop the scheme in its tracks. Cllr Follows attended the public meeting called by Mr Webb.

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 16.32.48.pngIn addition to the local protest – The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford has also issued a press release this week condemning the project.

There are doubts whether the applicant (CVHT) two of whose Trustees are successful developers, will appeal the decision. Already villagers say they will fight on until the bitter end.



12 thoughts on “Just hours after villagers delivered a crushing blow to plans to build a private care home in Cranleigh, the application​ was refused.”

  1. What a triumph for people power. The residents over there in the eastern villages have over-turned a scheme they were not going to sit back and tolerate. They, have worked hard to achieve this decision and deserve a slap on the back for bringing about the right decision.

    Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust must now tell donors, what they did with the money – every single penny of it, or face being asked to return the funds.

  2. I would like to use another F-Word – But Won’t and I grovel in the presence of the Planning officers for sorting this out – Not often I do that I know – But well done them. And more to the point well done Andy Webb – What an inspiration. Hope my paltry contribution helped.

    It has been a Dodgy Application from day one. Full audited accounts should be found that show exactly what the Money donated by Cranleigh Residents has been spent on.
    Keep us posted and Hopefully Cranleigh will finally get what they put the money into!

  3. I must admit I think this is a very clear and positive outcome.

    I need to correct one thing, Andy Webb was unable to get it to me today because I ended up being ill. But I’ve obviously been aware of the content for some time.

    A number of us have been asking questions about this in the background since the public meeting so I am extremely pleased to see this outcome.

    1. Ou apologies for jumping the gun. Andy explained the situation to us, and we are sorry you were ill and unable to accept the petition as planned. However, we understand this will be delivered to you as promised, tomorrow.

      We are well aware of all those centre-stage on this controversial issue, and the many who have been working behind the scenes. We look forward to hearing the basis for the refusal, and hope there are very solid planning grounds. If not, this unwanted scheme could be foisted upon the people of the eastern villages whether they like it or not by a Government Inspector?

      However, it would be a brave outfit that flew in the face of such an avalanche of public opinion.

  4. Good – Cllr Follows – Now please can you find out what happened to all the money that was given by the Villagers in Cranleigh and how they get that back from these awful Developers – If I could find the info I would do it – But it is all so hidden that even I struggle
    But I wont Give up!

    1. That is next on my list. As you can imagine the immediate concerns regarding the petition and planning have taken primacy but having attended that public meeting and having spoken to a number of residents (in this case themselves contributors) I do believe there needs to be some consideration as to the financial aspects underpinning this.

  5. Don’t give up – others are trawling through the smoke and looking into the mirrors contained in the accounts – but they are not fooling anyone.

    Perhaps the Trustees, past and present should be forced to stand up and account for their actions during this unfortunate episode in the history of Cranleigh Hospital?

  6. Firstly a massive congratulations to Andy Webb for fighting this like a terrier with a bone, despite all the deflections & dirty tactics that have been pulled against him by certain Cranleigh residents with an interest in the outcome. Can i also thank Waverley Web, your contribution of keeping this firmly in the public eye over the last few months has been invaluable. Finally to all my family & friends in Cranleigh & surrounding villages who organised events & donated money for the “new” Cranleigh hospital … keep the faith…its out there somewhere waiting to go to the Cranleigh Village Hospital League of Friends to be put to use for your community…now may be the SFO will look into it

    1. Although Cranleigh is not necessarily the focus for our team – we were struck by the concern, which grew into frsutration and then into outright anger, at the shenanigans perpetrated by Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust.

      Over the past few years, hundreds of you have contacted us with your concerns and questions. And, there were times when it appeared the eastern villages had given up all hope of getting a satisfactory outcome.

      However, thanks to Andy Webb’s stubborn determination to provide the public with the answers, he believed, they deserved, he decided to literally take the bull by the horns and provide them with the means to make their feelings known. Hence a hugely successful petition and then hundreds of letters written by residents on the WBC planning portal.

      We know, that behind the scenes others worked hard to ensure that the viability of the project was not sound. Names, we will not mention for fear of reprisals.

      We understand one parish councillor may have lost her seat due to her outspoken views on the project, and others have been verbally attacked in the street by Trustees.

      We hope this sad episode, can now be closed for those of you who were passionate about a project, which was hamstrung throughout by the changing face of the NHS and its multiple reorganisations.

      Perhaps now, the powers that be, should reward the eastern villages for its efforts with the much needed facilities they crave. An Urgent Care Centre.

      Also, perhaps Surrey County Council should look to ways it can provide some of the continuing care beds that it once provided in Cranleigh. All 56 of them? And, perhaps all those we lost here in Farnham?

      We only wish the people here in Farnham had been as successful in dealing with our little local difficulties eg. Blightwells. However, the Waverley Web was not in existence during the days when the major decisions now affecting the town, were made. Maybe, we might have made a difference?

  7. Adrian
    I hope so too. Cranleigh Residents deserve better than this shocking application.

    I would just like to remind Cranleigh folk that in view of the recent Heavy Downpours that ANY Flooding must be reported to Thames water – I haven’t had time to drive into Cranleigh this week – But all I can say is my garden is a quagmire so would be interesting to see if anyone elses are and if anyone has seen how the developments in Cranleigh are doing……

  8. Watch this space. We will soon here from the very vocal residents in the eastern villages, no doubt?

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