Apparently this little missive caused a bit of a to-do on the Cranleigh Community Board yesterday.
If anyone would like to take issue with the accuracy of the report of the Cranleigh Parish Council meeting perhaps they would like to contact us when we will be more than happy to correct any errors. firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillors agreed At an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting this week to seek ways of abiding by a mandate given by parishioners at a Public Meeting last September.
It was there that a large crowd called on the council to seek the return of land called ‘The Paddock Field’ exchanged in a land swap with Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust for a peppercorn £1. Claiming this parish was for the prime purpose of a new community hospital.
Although the council has refused the repeated request from the Trust to meet with its representatives to discuss its planning applications, on Monday Chairman Liz Townsend said once again the charity had asked to meet the Chairman to discuss only ‘community matters.’
Its latest ruse to single out the Chairman for talks failed, but Cllr Townsend asked her colleagues if they would agree for a meeting with recently appointed Trust representative Richard Everitt. However, she would only agree if the Clerk and vice-chairman, Nigel Sanctuary were included.
Recently yet another chapter opened on a 20-year-old saga by a charity to build a community hospital and day hospital, with public money, for local people. A decade later it morphed into an 80-bed Private Care Home, 20 community beds and a block of bedsits for anyone in the Surrey Heartlands Trust area. Villagers objected to their donated money being used for a private enterprise, and the planners threw the scheme out.
Now with a planning refusal tucked under its belt and with a change of name from Cranleigh Village
HOSPITAL to Cranleigh Village HEALTH Trust it wants to reduce its original scheme by 20% and build a 64-bed Private Care Home, 16 community beds and a block of 1/2 bedroom flats.
Several councillors – including James Betts, Richard Cole and Marc Scully all expressed their disappointment that, once again, the Charity, was attempting to pick off a couple of councillors in a bid to talk behind closed doors.
Cllr Townsend said she would not allow any discussion on forthcoming planning applications or appeals stressing that with their agreement, only the ‘community aspect of the scheme would be discussed. Full minutes would be taken, circulated and made available to the public.
Councillors commented that they had always been open and transparent in their dealings with the Trust, and although they would only support talks, within strict parameters they saw no reason why all councillors should not be involved, and any discussion held in public.
Said James Betts: “I find it very disappointing and I would like to know why CVHT want a private meeting with just one councillor and the clerk. Mr Everitt is a new face and we will not all be there to question him – face to face, and will hear what went on second-hand. This is a very sensitive issue with our residents.”
It was agreed the meeting could take place – during which it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman would convey the subject of the residents mandate given to the parish council by a public vote at the September 2019 public meeting for the land to be returned to the parish.
She explained that in an exchange of legal letters for the land exchange it was agreed by both parties (CVHT & CPC) that should the development of the hospital and day hospital not go ahead within 5 years the land would be returned to the parish.
Cllr Betts said it appeared from its recent presentation CVHT – A Cranleigh Charity has now unveiled its new development plans to village leaders… that the charity intended to go down the same road it had been following and intended to pursue another planning application. It appeared CVHT had no intention of adhering to the Covenant and although we may ask to have that conversation on the return of the land – it is quite clear it has other intentions and wants to develop that land. However, I would like the question asked:
“Are there any circumstances where CVHT would consider returning the land back to the parish council – and I would like to see a written response?”
It was agreed to discuss the matter again at the next Full Council Meeting – and after parish representatives had met with the charity the council would write to its lawyers and discharge its responsibilities by seeking the return of the land.
In the meantime – The Cranleigh Village `Hospital Campaign Group’ issued this press release to the Waverley Web.
Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group
This group is run in conjunction with “Cranleigh Village Hospital We Want Answers” and is for the campaign to re-open the minor injury unit and to campaign against a private care home being built in Knowle Lane.
Nearly £1.8m was raised by the public in the belief it was to be used for the purpose of building a new fully functioning hospital including a minor injury clinic and the health centre.
Plans were granted for this but was left to lapse when the GP’s withdrew from the deal when the CVHT expected them to fund their part of the venture with their own money.
The hospital was going to be built on The Paddock Field which once belonged to the Parish Council.
The Parish Council at the time (2005) sold the the Paddock Field for the sum of £1 to the CVHT. A private landowner who was also a trustee of the charity donated a piece of land known as the Bruce McKenzie Field to the Parish Council but kept a ransom strip around it meaning there are not full access rights to the land.
The Paddock Field, now owned by the CVHT was last valued at £2.4m.
There was not a public consultation in regard to the land swap even though the Paddock Field belonged to the people of the Parish.
There was a covenant placed on the land that gave the Parish Council the right to take possession of the Paddock Field if the hospital or something that was beneficial to the community was not built within 5 years. For some reason, the Parish Council never acted upon this.
Up until 2019 the CVHT were still using the word “hospital” in the title of their charity, knowing full well that they were never going to build a new hospital.
We as a campaign group found this to be misleading as the public were still donating money thinking the hospital was still a possibility.
Although the CVHT accounts are readily available online, they have only just started to be a bit more forthcoming with what the money raised had been spent on.
The CVHT have always said that their aim was to bring back community beds to Cranleigh. As time went on and the money dwindled they changed from their original plan of a new hospital to a commercial venture with care home provider HC-ONE who are massively in debt.
There is only a 5 year deal regarding the funding from the NHS and Surrey County Council for the community beds. If this funding is not renewed there is a chance that the community beds could be rented out privately back to the care home.
The aim of The Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group is simple, we want the private care home planning stopped, the Paddock Field land returned to the Parish and the remaining CVHT money given to the Cranleigh Village Hospital League Of Friends.
We would also like to see a minor injury clinic and some community beds for the local community reinstated in Cranleigh Village Hospital.
The Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group Comm