What more could anyone want right in the middle of a pandemic and difficulties with BREXIT than a Boundary Commission intent on re-organising our local government institutions and our electoral boundaries?
However, it is not the Commission itself that has abandoned common-sense by instigating the vastly complex and time-consuming review. It is a Government that is hell-bent on reviewing anything and everything. Education – planning; health; local government; promoting unitary authorities and more!
You name it – they want to change it – in the middle of the most catastrophic disease that we have faced in modern times. At a time when our cash- strapped local authorities are struggling to make ends meet
Whilst the rest of us are adding blubber, if the Commission has its way, our borough council will be losing weight. By that, we mean losing councillors – down from the existing 57 in 29 wards – to 50 and fewer and larger wards. So presumably in 2023, there will be a slimmer Waverley – or possibly NO Waverley – as it is still Surrey County Council’s intention for the whole county to become a Unitary Authority. It is hanging onto its fervent desire to get rid of the county’s 11 boroughs & district councils. This despite being told by Government to shelve its ambitions for the time being.
Waverley Borough Council has 57 seats, representing local people in 29 wards that make up the Borough.
Councillors are elected by the community to decide how the council should carry out its various activities. They represent the wider public interest as well as individuals living within the ward in which he or she has been elected to serve.
Each councillor is elected for a four-year term. The most recent elections took place on 2 May 2019. The next Waverley Borough Council elections will take place in 2023.
Councillors have regular contact with the general public through council meetings, telephone calls or surgeries.
According to the council’s website, Fifty-six borough councillors are members of a political party registered with the Electoral Commission; one is Independent. They are currently divided as follows:
Councillors are not paid a salary for their work, but they do receive allowances. By law, all members of the Council are required to complete a declaration of interest form, the details of which are published annually.
In 2018/2019 the council paid out £395,000 in Basic Allowances, Special Responsibility Allowances, Travelling and Subsistence Allowances. it also included just £3,000 on internet charges.
in 2019/20 the figure was £397,000 – which WW believes is amazing value for money. This is low, compared with many other councils across the country that pay considerably more.
Tonight – Monday – Village leaders will once again sit down to consider yet another reboot of the Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s ambitions to build on land it sold to the charity for £1.
Cranleigh Parish Council will decide whether it will back yet another incarnation of a scheme that has driven a stake through the heart of Cranleigh and the eastern villages.
Over the years hundreds of letters and a petition containing 4,000 signatures have been posted AGAINST. There have also been hundreds of letters in SUPPORT. Many of which have been for a HOSPITAL!
NOTICE OF AN EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
Councillors are respectfully summoned to attend an online extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council to be held at 7.00 pm on MONDAY 01 FEBRUARY 2021 To join the meeting: Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM (GMT)
You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.) United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5028 – One-touch: tel:+442037135028,,829134269# Access Code: 829-134-269 New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
The Paddock field. The site which is currently proposed for a private care home in the latest planning application.
Over the past 21 years – successive parish and borough councils have ruminated and cogitated over a scheme that was perhaps once, a long, long time ago – referred to as a ‘beacon for healthcare.’ At least that is how it was referred in the archive pages of the “Sorry Advertiser. back in the ’90s.
As the decades have rolled on – the scheme has morphed from a Hospital/Day Hospital/GP Surgery into a Private Nursing home, with so many different numbers of private, and or, community beds, that forgive us please if we don’t refer to them because we have lost count. Now, like most of the population of the eastern villages – we and they have joined CONFUSED DOT COM!
In the life of the present scheme, we believe it has now changed from 64 beds in the private nursing home – and 14 community beds to 60 private and 16 for the community. First, they were FREE then they weren’t, first it was a HOSPITAL, and then it wasn’t. Then it was for a named care-home provider – HC-ONE and then it wasn’t or maybe it will be?
Will, they won’t they join the club? Here’s what the Chairman says:
So there you have it, folks. The Cranleigh Village Health Trust is confident it will have an operator for a damned great private nursing home slap-bang in the middle of your village. It is also confident that everyone will want to go into the new nursing home – because, after all, we all lust after going into a nursing home don’t we? And the half dozen or so already in the Cranleigh environs aren’t enough. Are they?
And – the fact that your health authority says it wants to provide you with a different type of care in future – in your own home, must mean that another Care Home is required – doesn’t it?
No doubt the poor old parish councillors will have burned the midnight oil trawling over this document from Tetlow King – the Charity’s Agent. A letter which gives all sorts of assurances about the future use of said beds, and the residential flats! Even, chortles on about it is a plus that the Surrey Heartlands Trust and all the other health and social care honchos have now pulled out! Kindly leaving the community beds for the very people who contributed circa £2m and a chunk of public land to provide them with the proposed – private care home!
It is incomprehensible to me that any group, the community at large or planning officers would not see the benefits of this development on a piece of land that sits in a sustainable location between extensive built development on either side where this Council has given permission on several occasions in the past.
And just for the record. Planning permission has not been given for this scheme on several occasions in the past!
The Waverley Web cannot help wondering how much this – and all the other applications have cost ‘Your Waverley.” We calculated that if it wrote to everyone on the planning portal that has made a comment it has cost many more thousands of pounds of OUR money!
The Paddock field in Knowle Lane. The site which is currently proposed for a care home in the latest planning application
Village leaders considered this request from the Cranleigh Village Health Trust. The charity that is seeking planning consent to build a 64-bed care home an accommodation block and 16 community beds now wants to meet the parish council in private… again.
Here’s what it said on last week’s Cranleigh Parish Council Agenda. The meeting was held on Zoom to enable the public to take part.
CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HEALTH TRUST (CVHT) CVHT Response to letter exchange (This item may be held in private and confidential session – reason: commercial in confidence) Recommendation: •
‘To consider the request from CVHT for a private meeting of two CVHT representatives with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, and the Clerk, to discuss an outcome for the Paddock Field which is beneficial for the community and satisfies CVHT’s obligations as a charity, in line with the covenants placed on the land. There may be information that is commercially sensitive.’
Another chapter is about to open in a burgeoning book of a 20-year saga that has dogged – what has been dubbed by some as ‘the largest village in England”
The Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s request was given short shrift by councillors who were united in their opposition to holding ANY further meetings in private with a developer seeking to build a commercial private care home for HC-One one of the nation’s largest care providers.
Though it is now debatable whether HC-One is the operator? The Chairman of the Trust, Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett has confirmed publicly that the planning application in the name of HC-ONE and CVHT that has been with Waverley Planners for many months, has no signed-up operator! Saying an operator will be named once planning permission is granted.
Now that the Trust has effectively become – Billy No Mates – it wants a secret meeting with a handful of councillors to unveil its latest cunning plan. A plan for a site it owns – has the value of a playing field, land swapped 15 years ago sold by the parish council of-the-day for £ 1– in return for a piece of agricultural land for a playing field.
The first, and only, member of the public to speak was the man who heads the campaign group to stop the development going ahead.
Andy Webb – as we repeatedly say – who has no connection with the Waverley Web, asked if he could represent the Campaign Group on behalf of its supporters at any meeting to be held. He said as the Trust had received considerable amounts of public money. ( believed to be circa £1.7m plus) – the public should be included in any debate. He said he couldn’t get any response to his requests from the Trust for a meeting, but firmly believed the public must be allowed to hear whatever its representatives had to say?
“We have an absolute right to know what is being said – it is our money they are spending!“
Chairman Liz Townsend said the council would go into the council meeting and consider the request and the decision lay with her members.
First off the grid was Cllr Richard Cole who said he recalled the previous private meeting with the Trust was to listen but not comment. Cllr Townsend reminded everyone that the well-minuted private meeting was to hear nothing other than any ‘community benefits’ put forward by the Trust.
“We made it very clear to them it would not be about process.”
Cllr Cole, who is also Chairman of a Waverley Planning Committee, said any meeting should not be discussing the planning application – an application that…
“it appeared wouldn’t be coming to the borough council – any time soon.”
” You can offer them another meeting – but this time “I want to be there,” said a feisty Cllr Rowena Tyler – and I want that minuted!”
Cllr Jeacock said he wasn’t happy about holding any private meetings in the first place – “I don’t like it.”
Neither did Cllr James Betts –
“I will strongly object and I want that minuted. I don’t agree with the Trust keep asking for private meetings with two representatives, they should speak to the parish council, and anyone else who is interested as an elected group – and the meeting should be held in public.”
Cllr Nigel Sanctuary echoed his sentiments. “this is a community issue – and there a lot of emotions around this. Public emotions are running so high, that we should reject any request by the Trust to meet a few of us in private.” He said the council should reject any more private meetings and should have some clear objectives about what it wished for an outcome.
Cllr George Worthington: “We said three months ago the last meeting was a “one-off” to hold another would not be sending the right message. We need to have everyone on the parish council – and the public involved.”
Both Cllr Hannah Nicholson and David Nicholas agreed. A conciliatory voice from Cllr Nicholas said the last meeting in private should be the final meeting.
“We are a civilised lot here – an open meeting can be well-chaired, and well-managed and we will listen to the Trust. There could be an opportunity here for something sensible to come out of it. However, we have to make it clear to the Trust, that if there are confidential commercial matters – they should give us that information in a report. We could at least offer them that.”
It was UNANIMOUSLY agreed that the council would write to the CVHT stressing that it agreed it would hold a parish council meeting to be held in public – which was not the same as a PUBLIC MEETING.
Was it COVID or developers that finally killed off David Mann and Sons in Cranleigh? The high street store which symbolised the face of Cranleigh for 133 years has gone into voluntary liquidation. Rumours, we are told by the locals over there, have been rife for over a year that the store was heading for closure.
There is no doubt that the retail sector has been badly punished by the Coronavirus epidemic but is the latest victim, a store that has a county-wide reputation built up over 133 years, another victim of the vicious virus? Or was the store always gleam in the eyes of the developer partnership of Nick Vrijland and Andy Leahy? Mr Vrijland’s burgeoning property portfolio also includes the adjacent properties – of Oliver House. He was also the owner of the Knowle Park Initiative site at West Cranleigh Nurseries. Sold to housing association A2 Dominion shortly after planning consent was granted to build “homes for village people?” Although consent was given in 2017 – so far not a home built on the former nursery and a detailed scheme, yet to be approved.
Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce sought major development in Cranleigh. In fact, it was instrumental in campaigning for and supporting the huge number of new homes being built in the village – dubbed as the largest village in England.” The village that the Chamber of Commerce publicly called for the house-building explosion, saying what the ‘new town’ needed was …
“More footfall for local shops.”
Now, with many empty shops lining its high street, despite the valiant efforts of many local entrepreneurs setting up their stall only to fail, the developers are moving in.
It is no secret that the majority owner of the store Dutch nurseryman turned Developer Nick Vrijland – wants to build 90 flats on the David Manns site. The Waverley Web understands this scheme found no favour with Waverley Planners during their initial discussions – but a slimmed-down scheme will presumably soon be considered.
David ~Mann Today.
So gone are the days when the premier store was a magnet for local people, many of whom furnished their homes from top to bottom with its wares.
One of its past amazing Christmas Window displays is featured here. Displays which we understand from the locals over there won many awards.
Will a shop remain to front the high street called ?? You’ve heard of Pound land how about VRI’LAND? Because Vri in Dutch means Free!
CVHT Private Care Home refused in 2019, appealed in 2020. The appeal was withdrawn in October 2020. New Planning application lodged in June 2020 – postponed in October 2020 – until???
Is the charity behind a bid to build a private care home and a residential development on former parish land ignoring Cranleigh village leaders and its donors?
Silence has been anything but golden for Cranleigh Parish Council – a former partner -of the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – which has now morphed into The Cranleigh Health Trust (CVHT.) It has failed in its repeated attempts to get answers to its concerns for many months.
Now – The Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group, which is backed by many thousands of villagers, many of whom were donors, claim it to is being ignored. But will not sit idly by any longer!
Campaign leader Andy Webb has written to the CVHT informing it that the group he leads wants to be included in any further discussions it has with Cranleigh Parish Council. It believes it has the mandate to speak on behalf of villagers, following a pre-COVID public meeting held at the village hall in September 2019. It also has a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling for a halt to the charity’s 20-year battle.
It also has the backing of the many hundreds of residents in the eastern villages who have objected to the Trust’s latest scheme. The Trust has a current live planning application with partner HC-One To build a private care home, and 16 community beds, and a residential block of flats for Surrey’s care workers. This despite the fact that all key stakeholders including – The Royal Surrey Hospital; The Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey Heartlands Trust have all withdrawn their support. Surrey County Council has also jumped ship. The Trust chairman has also publicly confirmed that it has no operator signed up for the private care home but would find a suitable partner once planning consent has been given.
However, according to Andy Webb, The Campaign Group’s leader, the e-mail requesting to be included in any further discussions has not, as yet, received a reply.
The Trust’s media company – Bamford Media was also asked for a statement regarding confirmation that CVHT has withdrawn its appeal against Waverley Planners earlier refusal for a larger scheme. But again, has received no response.
The Waverley Web (which has no connection with Andy Webb) received the following statement.
The reason I started this campaign was in memory of my mum and to get some answers for the community who have given their time and money to a charity which promised us a new fully functioning hospital and day hospital.
Even after the hospital was a distant memory the charity still called themselves Cranleigh Village “Hospital” Trust which was very misleading to the public who were still donating money to them.
Now, even though the CVHT has withdrawn its appeal against the “Not For Local Residents” Community Beds and Private Care Home, the fight to stop the new planning application continues.
We have been pushed aside and kept in the dark for so long. We have been blocked on the CVHT social media platforms, read their so called myth busters and who was responsible for all of this? None other than the media company they use to offload more garbage than an overfilled refuse truck.
They have tried to dismiss the petition I set up but failed as everything was done legally and above board.
They tried to play down the amount of money the public raised and what it was misspent on.
Even though the original landowner retained the strip of land around the Bruce McKenzie Field they deny it is classed as a ransom strip.
What is the old saying? You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
With stakeholders pulling out and CVHT now desperately looking at hospices and other charities to dig them out of a hole, it proves that their proposals are not viable.
As the community and local organisations have donated £1.8m to the charity we (the public) are classed as major stakeholders and therefore should be treated as such.
It is now time for us to have our say in any future CVHT plans with the newly formed Cranleigh Village Hospital Stakeholder Campaign Group.
With so many supporters and with petitions totalling nearly
5000 signatures we are more than just a few loud voices.
With everyone working together we have a chance of stopping this application and if we are successful the Paddock Field must be returned to the parish and kept as a much needed green space.
We will never give up on this and I would personally like to thank everyone for their continued support and much valued help with the campaign.
Our next step is to get as many objections against the planning application and to get the petition signed by as many people as possible.
Our aim is to stop this planning application being approved once and for all and have the Paddock Field returned to the parish. Also, if any of the Charities money remains it should be donated to the League of Friends of The Cranleigh Village Hospital. After all, the community donated its money towards a Hospital/Day hospital and not a commercial venture.
Please click on the link to submit your objections to the planning application.
The charity formed to build a replacement HOSPITAL for the eastern villages – with publicly fund-raised money – skulks away – to find yet another cunning plan to build on formerly owned public land it bought for £1. Meanwhile, key stakeholders are dropping off its list faster than the fall of Autumn leaves.
On Thursday evening Cranleigh’s village leaders were the latest and the last of a long-line to ditch the plans for a 64-bed private care home for anyone from anywhere, and an accommodation block – for health workers from the outer boondocks.
Cranleigh Parish Council has been licking the wounds inflicted on it by its predecessor’s crass decision-making. The cash-strapped council has sought legal advice on how it can get its land back and is continuing to do so, though it went behind closed doors to consider its next legal steps.
In a brilliant slide presentation by Council Clerk Beverley Bell on Zoom she spelt out the complex history advising councillors of the present state of play on both the current planning application and appeal against a previous refusal. Although the Charity – Cranleigh Village Health Trust (CVHT) states the schemes are halted, which has brought letters of objection to a halt…
This is not the case – both are going ahead – and the latest scheme could be heard in November and the appeal in January.
Andy Webb, the leader of the Campaign Group opposing the 20-year HOSPITAL saga, which has morphed into something unrecognisable to the donors who raised £1.8m, asked a string of questions. He was joined by former nurse Cathy Gould who has headed up the team’s efforts to seek a Charity Commissioner investigation! Although they represent many thousands of residents and donors in the eastern villages – the charity refuses to respond. They now want round-table talks with Cranleigh Parish Council and the Trust?
Chairman Liz Townsend recognised their concerns and promised that the council would do its utmost to answer their questions during the meeting that followed. However, matters of a legal nature concerning the Covenant on the Paddock Field (the proposed development site) would be discussed in private, so as not to prejudice its position.
The Clerk presented a series of slides revealing some of the answers:
There was no longer support for the scheme from the Integrated Care Partnership! Royal Surrey; SCC; Surrey Heartlands Trust and the Care Commissioning Group! * slide 1
There is no support from Surrey County Council! * slide 2
CVHT confirmed on 19th September: That the residential accommodation block will have no commercial or legal link with either HC-ONE or the 64-bed-care home! CONFUSED?
And there were we just a few short weeks ago told by the Chairman of The Trust Robin Fawkner-Corbett that it had no signed-up provider for the care home either? Does white man speak with forked tongue?
Could multi-millionaire care home operator Chai Patel still achieve his cunning plan?
So there you have it, folks. During the hour debate and votes that followed – Cranleigh Parish Council decided it WILL NOTsupport the building of a residential accommodation block or a private nursing home on land it sold for £1 in return for a playing field. It would also provide the Government Inspector with all the latest updates from the Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey County Council which revealed there was NO support for the scheme.
It reiterated its call to the charity to discuss the return of the land-based on an Agreement made between them * Slide 3.
The Charity might just as well have said: Stuff you! Slide *4
To sum up: there is now NO SUPPORT from any of the key stakeholders in the toxic project that has split Cranleigh asunder from:
Cranleigh Parish Council; Waverley Borough Council; Surrey County Council Adult Social Care; The Surrey Heartlands CCG; The Integrated Care Partnership – which includes The Royal Surrey County Hospital; Cranleigh League of Friends; The Cranleigh GP Practice; or The GP Federation; mental health; Community CCG’s; voluntary sector organisations; and… last but not least the thousands of people who signed Andy Webb’s Cranleigh Community Board petition and the many hundreds of people who have objected to the latest planning application.
What more does the charity need to halt this divisive and unpopular scheme which has divided the village?
OUR ADVICE. When you are in a hole – stop digging!
However, it is not completely ‘Billy No Mates.’ Abstentions came from three parish councillors. These included Hannah Nicholson of the defunct Cranleigh Community Board and now Cranleigh Conversations; Rosemary Burbridge of the “I need a care home for my husband;” and George Worthington who abstains from anything to do with the project leaving residents’ to wonder WHY WHEN he never declares an interest?
Could Guildford and Waverley’s Integrated Care Partnership’s shock announcement that it will no longer support Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s (CVHT) 20-year-long battle to build a Private Nursing Home and community beds be the final spanner in the works?
Both the most recent planning application WA/2020/0965 and a planning appeal have both been POSTPONED.
According to an announcement on the CVHT’s website:
During the past week, Guildford and Waverley ICP (Integrated Care Partnership) have unexpectedly advised Cranleigh Village Health Trust (CVHT) that they are no longer able to formally support its proposals relating to the creation of 16 Community Beds within the planned 64-bed care home on Knowle Lane. This decision is based on ICP’s application of the newly introduced NHS’s Comprehensive Model of Personal Care.
Now there’s a funny old thing. Just last week the very same ICP, which includes Surrey County Council, had its supporting letter – dated 18 August 2020- lodged on Your Waverley’s Planning portal saying it supported the very same scheme! They say a week is a long time in politics – perhaps even less if you work for the NHS? No surprise there then – we understand that the NHS and a succession of PCT’s and CCG’s and Uncle Tom Cobley’s have been so**ing the beleaguered charity and its donors who doggedly supported it, for donkey’s years!
The ICP also state that their accumulated evidence suggests that patients do much better if, when recovering, they are able to go home accompanied by an appropriate level of support.
This change of ICP stance is, we understand, a reflection of their assessment that the nature of community healthcare is changing, particularly in the past year, and that there will be a significant shift away from bed-based care for older people.
No surprise there then. The charity’s supposed partner HC-One is being taken to court for failing in its duty of care to shedloads of its Scottish residents – after employing staff from Kent.
Say the charity… It is clear, however, that the community will continue to need care home beds (as well as hospital beds). Indeed, CVHT’s research, which was submitted with the planning application showed a high demand for care home beds, and it also showed ICP’s previous position to be in favour of the care home setting.
So in other words – they ain’t giving up until the Fat Lady Sings:
Wakey, wakey – where have you been CVHT during the bumpy Coronacoaster ride that nursing homes all over the country have been on since early in March when the dreaded COVID gave them all a punch in the proverbial?
Most of the old, and the bold old, have told us here at the WW they are either going to live in an annexe/at the bottom of their kids’ gardens or drink themselves under – they ain’t going into nursing homes – no Siree.
Whilst the ‘home-care’ policy is well-established and will obviously have some impacts on care-home occupancy patterns, the degree of such impacts is quite uncertain. Therefore, CVHT will continue to explore how the planned Community Beds will be provided in Cranleigh, and so restore those lost at the Cranleigh Village Hospital in 2006.
In other words folks! This dumb outfit, which has trousered over £1.8m of your hard-earned cash will continue pouring even more of your money down ‘Your Waverley’s overflowing planning pan? Because they just cannot get their heads around the difference between a hospital bed and a continuing care bed!
Following this very recent ICP policy update, CVHT says it will now rigorously assess how they can best fulfil their primary objective of providing appropriate health care support for the local community; this will include consultations with key local stakeholders. In addition, CVHT has arranged further discussions with ICP and Surrey County Council in order to assess the potential for a modified policy.
Ah-ha – so now we know that the ICP and Surrey County Council combined to have their policy all wrong and CVHT will help them modify it?
To facilitate their option-assessment process, CVHT has asked Waverley Borough Council to postpone their evaluation of the current Planning Application. CVHT has also asked the Planning Inspectorate to postpone the hearing of the Appeal against the previously refused Planning Application from 2019
Watch this space as the controversy which has split Cranleigh asunder continues…
‘No community wants this’: Sussex new town plans anger local Tories
Although the Waverley Web mainly concentrates on all things Waverley/Surrey – the county is not an island and development on Waverley’s borders – e.g. Bordon – affects all our lives here in Farnham.
This scheme in Adversane adjoins the Surrey/Sussex border near Loxwood and Dunsfold and would mainly access the A281 Guildford to Horsham Road.
The scheme named Kingswood for nearly 3,000 new homes assembled by Sir Michael Hintze, who has given £4.6m to the Conservatives is a hop, skip and a jump from Dunsfold’s new garden village (2,600) homes on the former airfield on the outskirts of Cranleigh
Plans for a new town in rural Sussex backed by one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors and close allies of Prince Charles are exposing a split in the Tory party over how to rapidly accelerate housebuilding.
The scheme for 2,850 homes, is being proposed on open fields at Adversane which has been assembled by hedge fund billionaire Sir Michael Hintze who has given £4.6m to the Conservatives. Its design is partly inspired by Poundbury, the ersatz Georgian town in Dorset created by Prince Charles, and Sir Michael Peat, the Prince of Wales’s former private secretary is a director of the development company.
But it is being opposed by local Conservative MP Andrew Griffith, who said:
“it is the wrong type of development in the wrong place” and local Tory councillors who have warned: “No community wants this on their doorstep.”
It looks set to be a test case for the government’s controversial new planning strategy announced last month which is set to relax national planning rules and set significantly higher local housebuilding targets in areas including Horsham.
John Halsall, the Tory leader of Wokingham borough council in Berkshire, which is also facing central government demands to build significantly more homes warned of a high political cost saying
“You won’t have a Tory left in the south or south-east of England.”
Some of the land is owned by Eton College, the alma mater of the prime minister, Boris Johnson. The largest parcel which would be built over is a farm purchased by Hintze for £10m from Mike Stock, the songwriter behind a string of 1980s hits by Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Bananarama.
Local opponents say the project – which could ultimately create a town of around 10,000 people – threatens rare wildlife, an increase in car congestion and risks becoming a dormitory for London commuters.
“There is an enormous amount of antipathy to this scheme,” said Julian Trumper, a local resident organising opposition. “Horsham has already taken enough of Sussex’s requirement to build housing and this potential growth is unsustainable. Infrastructure and road and rail links are insufficient. The displacement to wildlife and established ecosystems by building a new town in the open countryside is incalculable.”
The project claims that it will: “focus on building a community for people of all ages and providing a platform for economic opportunity and sustainable growth” and will champion the principle of “beauty” in town planning identified by Sir Roger Scruton in his report to the government on planning and architecture.
But the row over whether it should go ahead exposes a growing schism in Conservative ranks over two proposed reforms to accelerate housebuilding.
The first is a new planning system that will make it easier and quicker for developers to build on greenfield sites, which Conservative councillors have complained undermines local democratic involvement by proposing zones where detailed planning consents would not berequired.
The second is new inflated house building targets which backbench Conservative MPs and council leaders have criticised as too high and ignoring local needs. The new target for Horsham would see the area required to deliver 1,715 new homes a year, more than double the current target of 800.
The high status of Kingswood’s backers – with close links to the top of government and the monarchy – has also sparked fears that local influence could be further undermined, with opponents citing the planning scandal earlier this year in which it emerged that the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, backed a project by party donor Richard Desmond against the advice of officials.
In other words, it is not what you know but who you know in the wonderful world of developers?
“After what we saw with Jenrick and Desmond, we have the impression that the property developers are doing all this with barely any local democracy at all.
A spokesperson for Horsham district council said:
“Any site that is allocated in the next step of the local plan process will be subject to full public scrutiny at a public examination conducted by an independent planning inspector. Each site will be assessed to determine whether it is suitable, achievable and available, in a public arena.”
The local Conservative MP, Andrew Griffith, said: “We are building on greenfield, we’re not using brownfield land. This is the wrong type of development in the wrong place. The identity of the landowner is not important. I am giving voice to constituent concerns.”He told a Commons debate earlier this month: “So many of my constituents in villages of every letter of the alphabet, are having their lives blighted by the prospect of inappropriate and unsustainable development”.
Philip Circus, a Conservative member of Horsham council in whose ward the development is proposed, added:
“I am not interested that people are connected with royalty or people that donate to the Conservative party. It cuts no ice with me. We don’t feel any compulsion to doff our caps to anyone other than the residents. This is a rural community which in infrastructure terms does not look like an area for major housing development.”
The Kingswood masterplan has been submitted for inclusion in Horsham district council’s local plan, which is currently out to public consultation. The director of the development company, Dominic Richards, was formerly a director at the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community – the heir to the throne’s architecture and planning charity which promotes traditional urbanism.
We’re not normally too serious, but just for now we’d like you to help us persuade the Government to change its mind about the tax on beer:
Local and small brewers are under threat as the Government looks set to increase the tax paid by some small independent breweries, including us. At the moment small brewers like us benefit from Small Brewers Relief, designed to allow us to compete with larger brewers by paying less tax than the big guys. Currently, the level at which this relief reduces (and we pay more tax) doesn’t come in until we sell at least 50% more beer than we do at the moment. However, the Government plans to change all this, meaning we would be paying more tax as soon as next year. At the same time, larger breweries (some of whom started as small as us not so long ago) will pay LESS tax.
This doesn’t feel like fair play to us!
Everyone has struggled with COVID, but you might be interested to know the support brewers have received has been limited pretty much to the furlough scheme. Other sectors have been given cash grants and other forms of support. We, along with other small brewers, have worked hard to stay alive, and we succeeded through hard work, ingenuity, and the support of our brilliant customers.
We really need your help again now!
Help us to protect local breweries, the beers they make and your choice at the bar by signing the petition urging the UK Government not to remove tax relief from the smallest brewers to allow larger brewers to pay less. If you can share this post widely we’d also be very grateful!
Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – That changed its name to Cranleigh Village HEALTH Trust.
A planning proposal that is splitting Cranleigh apart.
A Cranleigh resident has asked?
Why build another care home in Cranleigh when one lies empty and derelict?
The answer Michaela is quite simple. If you were a cash-strapped local authority would you prefer to:
(a) Continue using a former nursing home that is the most expensive police-dog training site in the country?
(b) buy 16 long-term care beds for the residents of Surrey in a private care home business funded by a private commercial enterprise. Built on land bought from the parish for £1 – and in a building which is being part-funded by the residents of the eastern villages?
(c) Or would you prefer to sell the land which you own – which once housed a facility called Longfields with 56 beds for long-term care, closed due to under-funding for years? Which then enabled you to sell it for squillions to replenish the rapidly diminishing county council coffers?
SIMPLES – NO CONTEST!
Michaela Clarke’s letter is one of many hundreds which can be found on the Waverley Borough Council Website – objecting to yet another application for a Private Care Home in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh.
An appeal has also been lodged against a previous application for a larger facility refused a year ago.