Will ‘Wife of Brian’ succeed in scuppering a decision by Waverley Planners to ditch a​ controversial care home scheme​?

After hearing  Waverley planning officers’ intention was to refuse a Cranleigh Charity’s application to build a private care home in the town  –  ward member Cllr Patricia Ellis registered her intention to call the application in to haveScreen Shot 2019-10-17 at 23.33.17.png it heard and determined in public.

Well, why wouldn’t she? AS SHE HAS PUBLICLY advertised, for years she supports it. Pre-determination or what we hear you mutter into your cornflakes?

Officers indicated a month ago they were minded to REFUSE an application by Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust (CVHT) for a 60 bed-Private Care home with 20 community beds in Knowle Lane – under powers delegated to them. This means the scheme would be refused, with no member participation. 

However, questions are being asked how Cllr Ellis was allowed the ‘call-in’ when she was out of time under the council’s rule-book?

The application was lodged in November last year, with a decision date of  February 2nd.  As the Charity failed to provide the information required by planning officers after nine months, under ‘normal circumstance’ an application would be refused. However, the refusal was not issued due to an officer going on annual leave.

However, it is believed the applicant was forewarned of the imminent REFUSAL, and the information was provided. Thus allowing the unprecedented time-frame change for a member call-in? WW has received video evidence revealing the conflict of interests admitted by the Ellis duo in the scheme which has now been damned by residents of the eastern villages. It is also alledged that Cllr Ellis has ‘entertained’ the applicants in her home. She has also been overheard in Cranleigh repeating her support for the scheme. Which under the council’s rules is not allowed.

The Cranleigh Society – whose management – BUT NOT ITS MEMBERSHIP  – is backing the application, was told of the council’s intentions two weeks ago. But it has stayed silent on the subject, not even deigning to inform its membership!  The Society is operating with an interim chairman and a reducing membership. Earlier this year it was rumoured to be closing if new members and officers could not be found.

Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 09.37.24.pngMr. Webb, nothing to do with the WW, we hasten to add, initiated a public meeting, where villagers demanded a series of answers from the Charity Trustees who were invited to attend.  Did they bother? Did they heck! They had no intention of facing down their critics who had raised over £1.4m intended to replace their hospital – so they had no option but to address their questions to an empty chair! It appears the charity is a law unto itself made up of carpetbaggers with questionable links to Cranleigh developers who infuriated local residents suspected of supporting the scheme for their own less than charitable purposes – or not to put too fine a point on it – nefarious purposes! Developers whom the Ellis duo chaired “secret meetings” of which the WW holds the meeting notes,  in preparation for carving up Cranleigh.


As a result of this and other public meetings, which CVHT has repeatedly refused to attend,  letters from the public have been sent demanding that the parish council, which donated the land for £1 (yes, not a typo we didn’t miss a few noughts) in exchange for agricultural land worth £10,000 – now a football field,  is returned to the village. Villagers have also been trawling through council documents during a period dubbed ‘The Ellis Era.’ It has been revealed to the WW that large chunks of the decision-making process on the land-exchange are missing!

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The WW is told by the locals that the question on everyone’s lips is – WHY? Would the wife of the parish council chairman – the late Brian Ellis who along with his wife  oversaw the land deal, without the consent of his parishioners and some colleagues, fly in the face of public opinion and seek to impose an unwanted £18m 60 bed- PRIVATE Care Home, with 20 beds for the use of anyone in the CCG area, on an overdeveloped part of Knowle Lane? And, why is a woman, no longer a parish councillor, so hell-bent on defying the will of Cranleigh residents?  The land which is immediately opposite the 425 new homes being built by Berkeley Homes now under construction opposite the site costing up to  £1,375m and which the local GP’s have told the developers – “will never happen, and which, privately,  they do not support?”

Villagers claim It will overlook and have a damaging impact on a ‘modest’ Waverley Council development in Whisker Drive and a damaging impact on the Downs Link?

The developers have also removed a tree screen in Knowle Lane, without the benefit of planning permission, during the bird nesting season.

The application will now be heard at a Joint Planning Committee at the end of November where it will be determined by councillors mainly from Godalming, Haslemere, and Farnham.

More to follow. 

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

7 thoughts on “Will ‘Wife of Brian’ succeed in scuppering a decision by Waverley Planners to ditch a​ controversial care home scheme​?”

  1. This is in no way an attempt to throw stones but meant as a kindly reminder. Hopefully Cllr Ellis will be very clear in declaring any conflicts of interest she feels she has in relation to this application regarding the involvement of those who describe themselves in the village as friends of her and her late husband of long standing. Otherwise it could be embarrassing.
    There is a lot of local and vocal knowledge around this application. We all remember her late husbands very late declaration of interest before the Knowle Park Initiative application was heard a few years ago.

  2. Sadly we doubt very much that Cllr Ellis will declare an interest in this application, as she was the council member responsible for calling it in. To declare an interest would preclude her from voting.

    We understand, from the hundreds of messages and e-mails we have received, that the people of Cranleigh and all the surrounding villages who donated money for a HOSPITAL/DAY HOSPITAL are, quite rightfully angry… very angry. We understand that Cllr Ellis was at the recent public meeting, though we cannot confirm this – where she made her support very clear to those sitting around her. If Waverley’s monitoring officer, who is well known for doing a good job of protecting both councillors and the council’s record intact for probity is on the ball then watch this space?

    In the member’s​ Code of conduct. All available on-line, it quotes ‘Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

    Holders of public office MUST avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people ororganisations tha try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They MUST declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

    ACCOUNTABILITY: Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their deciions and actiond and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

    To breach the code may incur an adverse report from the Local Government Ombudsman.

    Councillors being involved with a matter that will later be called upon to take a decision on as a member of the council can fetter their decision.

    The councillor should not be put in a position where it appears they have already taken a view.
    There is more… much more. May we respectfully suggest that Cllr Ellis reads the Council’s Code of Conduct and reflects?

    We rest our case.

  3. The WW team has been contacted by a Cranleigh resident to say we made a mistake on a road name. Apparently it is Wiskar Drive and not Whisper Drive. Apologies for our poor knowledge of the area over there. However, we do receive plenty of whispers from those who dare!

  4. Whispers and hearsay are not useful when trying to get at the truth.
    Your newspaper style is entertaining but not always accurate and suggests people who are doing their best are somehow bound to be in the wrong.
    “Call out” wrong doing by all means, but please get things right.
    Like spokespeople at “no.10” “trusted” whisperers can make mistakes.

  5. As The Secretary of The Cranleigh Society who obviously has first-hand knowledge of this issue. Perhaps you would be kind enough to rectify the mistakes you alledge we have made?

    If you are defending Cllr Ellis – then please say so – don’t be shy. We are more than willing to rectify any misinformation. It would be great to hear from someone who could explain why a Cranleigh councillor is so determined to fly in the face of the huge, and growing opposition to this scheme in your area. She must have very strong planning grounds to take the unusual step of calling in an application in which she has, on numerous occasions declared interest. It has been suggested to us that she has been lobbied… hard, which in itself is against planning rules.

    Doing your best on behalf of the residents of the eastern villages, many of whom were donors for a Hospital, that dealt with minor injuries and a highly valued Day Hospital, is one thing – defending a commercial organisation or two, and their investors, who are using public land and public money, under flse pretences, is quite another. We could not possibly comment that this would appear either foolhardy, or something worse. But as you appear to have all the answers Cranleigh Society – please enlighten us, as everyone else connected with this dubious scheme appears to wish to remain silent. We understand your orgnisation ‘Speaks Up For Cranleigh?’

  6. It seems to me that the people of Cranleigh have spoken 4000 plus on a paper petition with lots and lots of letters of objection to Waverley planning department.Who is this Ellis woman who thinks she alone speaks for Cranleigh is she not listening to the people who voted her in. Is her husband a developer ???? Does she gain from this??? seems to me the only reason you would do this is if you were to gain !!!!!.Our councillors need to listen to the people that voted them in .Its not their village alone its ours we pay our rates to the council so should be listened to. THE PEOPLE OF CRANLEIGH HAVE LET THEIR FEELINGS KNOWN……SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT TAKING THIS INTO ACCOUNT.

  7. As a new resident, welcome to the Waverley Wb. Perhaps you should look back on some of our previous posts on this issue. This is a long-drawn-out and highly controversial issue.

    We can confirm Cllr Ellis’s husband died some years ago – he was a former chairman of Cranleigh Paish Council, until he lost control to Cllr Elizabeth Townsend, who is the other ward member with Cllr Patricia Ellis.

    The WW has often wondered if that is part of the issue – one ward member determined to outdo another?

    As for gain – we couldn’t possibly comment. But we wholeheatedly agree with your comments about listening to the people of Cranleigh. ~It would appear Cllr Ellis is listening, perhaps even being lobbied by, some people of Cranleigh and is ignoring the 4,000 signatures and over 300 letters on the planning portal.

    We have looked at some of those letters of objection, and some letters of support. Some of those in support were still talking about a hospital, a facility for which residents donated over £1.4m and which has long since gone. So presumably those letters should be ignored. Others just say WE SUPPORT. We wonder what are they supporting.

    This will eventually be played out in the council chambers, and why not let councillors from across the borough decide – because, having looked at the make-up of the Joint Planning Committee – Councillor Ellis is merely a substitute. No doubt her Tory mates will ensure she is appointed as a member so she can have her moment of glory. Let us all watch her in action as she splits the people of Cranleigh and the eastern villages and supports an unpopular scheme which, when approved, may finally end up in the courts?

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