An Ellis rides again to the rescue of a Cranleigh Charity who villagers claim has duped them of their cash.

In 2016 the late Brian Ellis, former Waverley and Cranleigh Parish Councillor declared a pecuniary interest in a Cranleigh Planning Application and left the meeting. All on the advice of the, then monitoring officer.

Probably in the days when the MO was up to the job?

A couple of weeks later Cllr Ellis,  changed his mind. He said that he wished to have the minutes of the previous meeting amended to declare a non-pecuniary interest instead. and he gives his reasons for doing so as you will witness in the video below.

A couple of other Cranleigh councillors, Stuart and Jeannette Stennett also declared a pecuniary interest at that same meeting and thought it wiser not to show up.

The late husband of Cllr Patricia Ellis gave, among his reasons for the declaration, that he had worked with the applicant to negotiate a land deal between Cranleigh Parish Council and  Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust.  Land valued at £250,000 and sold for £1. Mrs Ellis was also a member of the parish council when the deal was done, and the covenant on the land deal was agreed, and then subsequently changed.

At the previous meeting, Mr Nick Vrijland the owner of the Knowle Park Initiative had gained planning permission to build 265 homes – on either side of Alfold Road near the former West Cranleigh Nurseries. 

On Wednesday 27 November his widow – Cranleigh councillor ~Patricia Ellis – has called in a planning application, against some advice, for an application by Mr Vrijland and his fellow Trustees of a charity called Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, to be considered by the Joint Planning Committee (JPC).

Although she is not a member of the JPC, as the ward member, she is permitted to call in an application that would otherwise have been refused under officers’ delegated powers, and speak for up for it. However, it is believed, that her call-in was out of time and that there was a departure from the normal delegation planning process.  The Waverley Web cannot help wondering – WHY?

 The application is for an £18m three-storey 60-bed Private Care Home, residential accommodation, and 20 community beds on a site in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh and on land formerly owned by Cranleigh Parish Council.

A scheme that is being strongly opposed by more than four and half thousand residents of the eastern villages by petition and letter.  villages. Many of whom donated cash for a hospital and day hospital and not a commercial enterprise.


Oh and if you wondered why-officers are recommending refusal. Here’s just a starter for ten. But, of course – no objection from the county highway authority, that threw away its rule book years ago.

Here are the comments of Waverley Borough Council Officers when recommending refusal for the conversion of an old railway gatehouse in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh into a group of flats. Just a hop, skip and jump away from the Care Home site and opposite the £55m Berkeley Homes scheme for 425 homes.

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Such hypocrisy?



6 thoughts on “An Ellis rides again to the rescue of a Cranleigh Charity who villagers claim has duped them of their cash.”

  1. The Agenda for next week’s Joint Planning Committee has just been published online and it states:
    “The application has been brought before the Joint Planning Committee due to
    the level of public interest both supporting and objecting to the scheme.
    Almost 500 letters evenly split, supporting and objecting to the development,
    have been received. The Head of Planning has therefore waived his
    delegated authority to refuse the planning application and is putting it to the
    Joint Planning Committee to consider”

    But no mention of any call in by Councillor Ellis.

    It goes on to say:
    “The benefits by way of 20 community beds, 60 private nursing beds and
    affordable health worker accommodation are not sufficient to outweigh the
    (visual) harm and adverse (landscape) impacts. It is therefore recommended
    that permission is refused”
    This Application is subject to public speaking….I wonder who?

  2. It is not what is in the report, it is what is behind the report.

    Within Waverley Towers it is common knowledge that Cllr Ellis called this application in. Make no mistake – Cllr Ellis wants her day in the spotlight.

    Monitoring officers planning officers, and other officials – including councillors have been advising her not to do so, for a variety of reasons. However, the WW believes that Cllr Ellis hs been lobbied heavily by her former parish council colleagues who were also a party to the land exchange deal. Parish councillors who are among the present Trustees.

    This whole business stinks higher than the Farnham and Cranleigh sewerage works combined.

    We feel great sympathy for the residents of the eastern villages, some of whom donated as much as £25,000 for a scheme which they are not getting. We fully understand this is not a planning issue, but morally it is wrong. It also undermines the true spirit of charitable giving.

    This is not for community benefit, e.g. for the benefit of the people of Cranleigh and around.

    This may be Cllr Ellis’s swansong – let us hope so – because both her, her husband and their colleagues, have all done Cranleigh a great disservice over many years in their dealings with developers. And, the people of Cranleigh & villages are suffering for it?

    1. Couldn’t agree more. She must ensure that her interests are declared. Everyone in Cranleigh knows how many years this was in the Master Plan of certain individuals. Its a toxic topic locally. I hope the newly Liberated Cllr Townsend is all over this.

      1. We doubt very much that Cllr Ellis will declare her interest. She certainly should as the Council’s Code of Conduct instructs her. She should leave the Chamber, as she, along with other former Cranleigh councillors she helped mastermind the Master Plan.

        We know not what Cllr Townsend will say, or how she will vote. However let us hope she continues in her own inimitable style and stands up for the thousands of objectors. We will wait and see.

        Yor are right, it would appear this issue is toxic. We wish some of our Farnham councillors would be as passionate as Cllr Tonsend tackling our toxic issue over here in Farnham.

  3. As a newcomer to Cranleigh, and one who has supported local charities for many years it is very sad to hear of this issue which has apparently been going on for decades. I was one of those who signed the petition as I regularly use Knowle Lane which is a traffic nightmare at its junction with the High Street. The main objection should have been on traffic grounds.

    It is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident at the junction.

  4. From what we hear from villagers overon your patch there has been a considerable amount of development in that area. Approximately 425 homes spitting distance away. WW wonders if the occupiers of these new homes know what could be coming to a field nearby soon?

    Not that they are entitled to complain – because from memory that site too was once a green field – some say a flood plain – but the WW cannot confirm that.

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