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 have 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.
Mr. 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!
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.