A message to Cranleigh people from Margi…

The WW has received literally hundreds of messages and comments from people living over there in the eastern villages of Waverley. Lack of space prevents us from including all your comments on our posts.

CVHT - driving a split in Cranleigh
Margi Plank

You may have seen many posts on our various groups pertaining to the planning application by the Cranleigh Village health Trust (CVHT) for a private Care Home and block of flats. All on a small area of land behind Marks and Spencer’s car park and a small residential area of private homes?

There are many private residents against this development. At least 4,600 minimum to be exact.

Another petition has just been launched. https://.www.change.org/campaigngroup


“There are a few of us that are spokespeople passing on information and comments on behalf of these dissenters as best we can.
We have been blocked by the Admin of any group that is either in the employ of the CVHT or are actually part of the Trust themselves i.e. Trustees or those with a vested interest.
We are asking for this planning application to be deferred until a public meeting can be held so that CVHT can answer all the questions that remain unanswered.
Villagers raised the sum of £1.8m towards a new hospital for the villages in and around Cranleigh nearly 20 years ago and the money has all but disappeared down a black hole and the plan has morphed into a private care home for the elderly to serve the whole of Surrey. Users of the home’s services will be financially assessed in the usual way.
It has turned out that many of the statements made by the Trust may only become a part reality if planning permission is granted. However, there is no agreed partnership with the Care Home Company so no reality there!”
Many, many questions were unanswered.
  • Where has the money gone?
  • Why did land have to be swapped?
  • Where is the money coming from to build the Care Home and flats if their so-called ”partner” reneges on any verbal agreement – particularly as the company in question (HC-One) is millions of pounds in debt but still paying shareholders many millions in dividends?
  • This is a Care Home, the beds of which are for anyone in the county – and they won’t necessarily be free at the point of entry; the FAQs state “After initial assessment some patients will need to self pay”.
What is being sold to the public are free community hospital beds when this is not the case at all.
We have ascertained from experts that the beds are: “Continuing care beds for elderly or disabled people – for the rest of their lives.” Not for post-operative care as claimed by a Cranleigh parish councillor Richard Cole – or young mums with children, as claimed by Cllr Rosemary Burbridge! They too – are being misled!
Many statements are being made by the Trust’s PR spokesman under the headings Myth and Reality – most of these statements are untrue and are accusing innocent members of the genuinely concerned public of telling lies.
IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT FACTS HAVE GOT TO BE ESTABLISHED before any planning application is considered.
Please all remember!  The money raised was not out of a large developers coffers. It was raised by the villagers. Men, women and young children.   They need and deserve the truth.
It was also our land that was squirrelled away for it! Sold for £1.
If you would like to read the letters of support and objection, please go to Waverley Planning Applications
No.WA/2020/0965 these will give you a background of what has taken place over the years. 
And STILL, the support letters rolling in are trying to convince people it’s a HOSPITAL and will save them a trip to Guildford RSCH, even the landowner involved in the land swap!
When is the CVHT going come clean and state that the planning application is for a PRIVATE CARE HOME which will NOT be facilitating hospital treatment, so, therefore, will NOT save you a trip to Guildford?
Also, there is a large percentage of these support letters are coming from way out of the area, even hundreds of miles away. Only a handful mention having a relative living in the Cranfold area, so it begs the question WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE DELIGHTED TO KNOW A PRIVATE CARE HOME IS PROPOSED FOR CRANLEIGH. CVHT has obviously scoured the country for support for this.
We have received very few letters of objection from people out of the area but these include a former Cranleigh GP who was practising at our medical centre at the time of raising money and people themselves who actually donated and do not want their money spent on building a private care home. Other former GP’s have also objected.

Ruth Turner

Ash Barn, Church Lane, Monyash,

Derbyshire, DE45 1JH

When I first joined Cranleigh Medical Practice as a partner in 2002 the project to build a replacement health centre and village hospital was in progress. Initially, this seemed to me like a good idea. The old health centre and the wards in the village hospital were dilapidated, and there was great support for the project from the community. Indeed, a very large amount of money was raised by CVHT from the people of Cranleigh for it. At the heart of the project was the desire to replace the community beds which were under threat and subsequently closed by NHS Surrey.

However, five years ago, whilst I was still a partner at Cranleigh Medical Practice, there was no model of care agreed for the 16 community beds in the private nursing home (which the original replacement village hospital has now turned into) and I gather that this remains the case today. In my view, this is a fatal flaw for the project because, as we always used to say, you can stick a sign on the door which says “community beds”, but if there is no model of care and no secure funding stream agreed to utilize these beds, then these are just words. In which case the plans must surely be solely for a private nursing home. The original outline planning permission was granted for a replacement village hospital, not a nursing home. I would argue that another private nursing home is not needed in Cranleigh which is already a net importer of patients requiring private nursing home care. A fact which clearly demonstrates existing oversupply.

The twists and turns in the saga of this project caused me sleepless nights whilst I was working in Cranleigh because the original idea of community beds was attractive, but the many incarnations have all had the same fundamental problem. A private nursing home can make money if it’s big enough (clearly topping up the numbers with another 16 paying patients would help this equation), but genuine free at the point of delivery community beds are a massively expensive luxury, which I suspect renders them unaffordable in this setting. To me then, this has become another commercial private nursing home project which is why I object to the plans.


4 thoughts on “A message to Cranleigh people from Margi…

  1. A well structured article however, putting the money raised and land swap to one side, there is a requirement for more care homes across the U.K.

    With an ageing population (ONS predicts a 36% growth in persons aged 85+ between 2015 and 2025), there is growing demand for care homes to meet the needs of our ageing population.

    Waverley has a higher percentage of over 85 year olds (3.1%) compared to the average in England (2.3%) which makes the area a great location to meet demand.

    If developments like these do not go ahead, we will end up pushing our own residents in Cranleigh to care homes further afield away from friends, family and a location they have grown up in, contributed towards and helped form the village so many of us are proud of.

    • We have to agree with the sentiment of your argument. However, we understand from our readers that Cranleigh is well-served with nursing homes. In fact, one such home has recently received consent to extend its premises by another 25 beds.

      Obviously Surrey County Council does not agree Cranleigh, or for that fact Waverley needs more care home beds. It closed Cobgates here in Farnham and Longfields in Cranleigh which had 56 dementia beds, which were allowed to gradually deteriorate due to lack of maintenance and investment.

      COVID-19 has already begun to have an impact on nursing homes across the country. They are not quite as attractive to many would-be residents as they once were.

      We have heard of numerous older people looking to live in annexes with their families, astray fear for their safety in large institutions. Sadly this virus is already impacting on the way older people want to live their lives in the future. Many have been cut off from family and friends for many months, and their mental and physical health has deteriorated as a result.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.