David Mann’s Cranleigh set to become a Churchill Retirement complex.

David Mann’s department store, a premier shopping venue in Cranleigh High Street for more than 130 years, is to become a Churchill Homes Retirement complex.

 The popular store and cafe in Cranleigh High Street once looked like this.

Now it looks like this.

Soon it may look like this. 

Though we suspect that Waverley Planners will ensure the frontage remains as a shop and only the rear, accessing Victoria Road and Rowland Road, makes way for the 35 retirement apartments Churchill currently proposes. 

Initially, the owners wanted 90 apartments!

101 and 102 High Street will soon be part of a planning application, Waverley Planners told a Government Inspector recently. The borough’s planners are confident the development will form part of its five-year housing land supply.

However, the parish council is fuming that the owners didn’t inform it of its intentions before councillors earmarked a further 68 homes elsewhere in the village in its updated Neighbourhood Plan, which means the 35 flats proposed will be in addition to its latest quota. 

The owners recently sold the retail site for an undisclosed sum, and the new owners intend to submit a planning application by the end of this month, Waverley officers have confirmed.

There is no indication of what will happen to the old furniture and homeware store, cafe and the empty Listed Buildings in Cromwell Cottage and Oliver House adjacent to the store in the same ownership pictured below. The Flying Dutchman flies again? 

Villagers mourned the loss of the popular high street store and cafe and the adjacent restaurant and outdoor dining at the Cromwell Cottage Cafe, which has been a popular watering hole in the centre of the town for many years.

The site has looked sad and miserable all over the Christmas period, a considerable departure for a store that boasted one of the finest Christmas displays in the South East for many years. Its neighbouring restaurant has also been sadly missed, according to our followers.

Here’s a Statement we received from the company back in  January 2021

Statement from the Directors of David Mann & Sons Ltd.

‘Due to the recent challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of COVID-19 the directors decided to take early and decisive action to seek advice on the options for the company to enable it to continue trading, survive the pandemic and trade strongly thereafter.

As a result, the directors appointed advisors to assist them with the company’s restructuring, to address legacy creditors and future proof the company in this current economic climate.

Following the guidance provided, the decision was taken to propose a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The CVA proposal will enable David Mann & Sons Limited, with appropriate professional support, to provide a mechanism that will allow the company to have a more profitable and flexible business structure thus making sure we have adapted in these unprecedented times appropriately.

We can confirm that David Mann & Sons Ltd. is not in liquidation and look forward to reopening just as soon as this current lockdown allows.’

Waverley Web said in January 2021 when there was still some hope the business would survive.

So come on Waverley residents – let’s all pitch in and help save David Manns? If we don’t it will probably, like so many other businesses,  end up as a block of residential flats?

Are lockdown rules unfair on Waverley’s independents?

Case number 1 — Corporate voluntary arrangement (CVA)

Date of meeting to approve CVA
23 November 2020.

7 thoughts on “David Mann’s Cranleigh set to become a Churchill Retirement complex.”

  1. Such a shame to lose another independent store. Manns has been an integral part of Cranleigh for many years. What with the proposals by Birchgrove to put 53 supported flats on the former Mole (previously Scats) store site in Godalming, at a rent of about £5,000 a month for a 2-bed, 40 McCarthy Stone flats at Caesars Place already built and occupied also in Godalming and now this proposal – how many more do we need right now? They are all hugely expensive … and surely must be out of the price range of many older folk.

    1. WW understands that retirement home developers are offering to buy up residential houses in our towns and villages in a bid to demolish them and replace them with these very expensive retirement flats. Some of the sale prices are eye-wateringly expensive and so are the service charges.

    2. Chris – the last SHMA study showed Waverley needed at least 8 new Extra Care developments plus 2 specialist dementia housing units. We have had a few built, but the Scats site was the first Extra Care proposal. Dunsfold Park were also proposing one, If the elderly are to be tempted out of their large Waverley houses (we have a 76% under occupancy rate), they should only expect to move once, rather than several times as their clinical needs increase.

    3. Agreed! Has anyone looked at listing the old Manns store – isn’t it in the Conservation Area? From deepest Cornwall we are shocked to know of the demise of the local shop we knew so well as an integral part of Cranleigh. Must be other sites more appropriate for the looming block of brickwork. Celia and Savage family.

  2. The loss of Scats was a scandal. I was told that the landlord declined to renew the lease, it did not close due to lack of business. The problem with re-developing these sites is you can’t get them back. The result is fewer and fewer commercial premisses. It is a real failure of the planners to understand the importance of commercial premisses the local plans always classify them as “Brownfield sites” and they are as a result worth far more converted to housing than operated as businesses. The demand for warehousing as more and more businesses move on to the web has resulted in demand far outstripping supply and huge rents as a result. No local authority will release any land for warehousing because of our acute housing shortage(there is no shortage of housing we simply have too many people). Future employment requires businesses to have places from which it operate. One day all this re-development is going to come back and bite us.

    1. Quite right, Paul – and it isn’t one day these decisions will come back and bite us – they already have! High-grade agricultural land turned over to concrete, – garden centres turned into concrete, productive fruit and vegetable nurseries turned into concrete – we cannot eat concrete!

  3. I have been trying to get Waverley to look @ The Windings building project in Helsby.
    These buildings are self contained flats for the elderly, built in a u shape with gardens @ the rear and gated. There is a café (open to all) a large lounge (which looks out onto the street) key fob foyer entry after 6pm.
    These properties are 3 & 4 story new builds with carers & staff on site. The colour scheme is designed for dementia sufferers. The penthouses (with balcony) are for sale and 2 floors are rental (actually affordable)
    My father’s pension credits covered a 1 bed and a 2 bed (so family could visit and stay) was under £30 a month extra. There is also a window in the kitchen that looks onto the hallway where pensioners can see who is around and about and wave to people walking past. These sites are perfect for the elderly. The land was on a new housing build (other builds have been on the grounds of schools that closed)
    These properties are affordable, new (low maintenance) social, where the elderly are a community. The age limit is 55 so people can move, settle in and build a long term memory before any memory problems start.
    I was very impressed with the build and the community that lived in it. Many of the elderly met for coffee and had lunch together, they had a great community spirit. I even donated a dartboard…
    A little like the scats development idea but without setting it far back off the road and isolating the elderly.
    Many properties could be freed up by building more of these builds, quite why the cost is so expensive (down south) I have no idea.
    Why can’t Waverley look into these builds and not the hugely expensive builds that seem to be the norm in Surrey….?

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