Cranleigh Village Health Trust was invited to give a presentation to Cranleigh Parish Council at their virtual meeting yesterday evening.
Here’s a full transcript of the presentations given by CVHT chairman Robin Fawkner-Corbett and CVHT trustee Richard Everett, reading comments prepared by John Bainbridge, who was unfortunately unable to appear in person.
Good evening I am Robin Fawkner-Corbett and Chairman of CVHT. Unfortunately, John Bainbridge, our Treasurer, who had intended to share the presentation with me was taken ill yesterday and admitted to the RSCH. I am therefore relieved that Richard Everett, our most recently appointed Trustee, has been able to take up this evening’s challenge at very short notice and will be speaking on John’s behalf.
I am very grateful to Beverley, the Clerk, for inviting us to speak, but as we are conscious of the fact that you have a very long agenda this evening, we will keep the presentations as short as possible and hope you all understand that this very much an introduction to our planning proposal. No final documentation has yet been issued and we will not be referring to any documents. Again with limited time available we will be taking a few questions at the end but would encourage the more inquisitive of you to send your questions and comments via the contact page of our website www.cranleighhealthtrust.org
In the last few months, there have been important changes to the Trust both in terminology and personnel.
20 years ago, the original name of the charity was the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, a name that at that time was totally appropriate bearing in mind our original aspiration of securing the beds at CVH for the future. However, with an everchanging NHS, this aspiration has had to change to fit the modern health and social care demands of a rapidly increasing elderly population and bearing in mind that the only possible way to return community beds to the area has to be within a care home setting. Hence our original naming of Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust no longer fitted the bill and has therefore been changed to the Cranleigh Village Health Trust.
With regards to personnel, both Nick Vrijland and Andy Leahy have stepped down as trustees. Despite this significant loss to the Board, The Trustees are delighted that they have recently been able to appoint Richard Everett as a new Trustee. He brings with him a wealth of relevant business experience.
With the disappointment created by the refusal of our recent planning application, our consultants have been working hard to develop a new plan that would overcome one of the main objections to the original – overmassing on the site. Despite this particular objection it is interesting to note that back in 2006 Waverley had approved a planning proposal for a significant development including a replacement hospital with 3 floors.
The proposed resubmission will be for a 64 bed CH including 16 community beds. This is a 20% reduction on the original and will be achieved by shortening the arms of the crucifix design.
The health worker accommodation block has been redesigned to provide 14 individual one and two bedroomed self-contained apartments.
This 20% reduction in the size of the care home element will very much answer the overmassing criticism and much improve the outlook for John Wiskar Drive residents. We will circulate the finalised documents to the Council as soon as they become available – and these will obviously give you much more detail.
It is hoped that the planning application will be submitted by 9th June.
I would now like to introduce you to Richard who will deal with other aspects relating to CVHT.
Richard’s comments, speaking on behalf of CVHT trustee John Bainbridge:
Good Evening Councillors,
I would like to start by dispelling a couple of urban myths, the first being the existence of a “ransom strip”. This is really not a matter for CVHT as it is between the council and the previous landowner of the Bruce Mackenzie field. However, it is being used against CVHT. I was a councillor nearly 20 years ago when the land swap was agreed.
Councillors should know that the landowner retained the strip of land at the expressed wish of the Council. It contains a ditch for which the Council did not want responsibility for either maintenance or public liability. The landowner agreed and to my knowledge has continued to maintain the ditch. This should be in your records. The transfer was completed in 2010. Before I joined CVHT.
I was Chairman of the council’s Recreation Committee when the swap was agreed. It was seen by the council as a terrific “Win-Win” for the community, securing a larger piece of land suitable for two football pitches (valued at £60,000) in exchange for a disused paddock which would then become available for new healthcare facilities
The second myth is that we raised a very great sum of money. Estimates of £2million and more.
After fundraising costs, the trust raised some £950,000. Far too little to build a hospital but the intention was to fundraise significantly for further funds following planning approval.
Although this was received, as Robin has explained, it was not possible to proceed because of NHS changes. As a result, there has been no overt fundraising activity since 2006 although we have of course continued to accept donations.
Some £630,000 was spent on successive planning applications and related professional advice. This includes some very significant items of expenditure including the Keep Beds Open campaign, the levelling and laying of the new football pitch (£90,000) and the improved access and new footpath works in Knowle Lane (£98,000).
Finally, you should know that we shall, of course, be appealing at the same time against the refusal of the previous application. We feel that we have an extremely strong case for the Inspector but if the new application is approved we may cease the appeal.
I shall now hand back to Robin.
Robin’s closing remarks:
Thank you for your invitation and your time today. We very much hope Councillors will view this forthcoming application in a new light and with an open mind, and in the spirit of securing a significant benefit for the local community – as indicated by the strong support of the NHS, Surrey Social Services and many members of the public.
The Trustees of CVHT are committed to hosting its plans and answer questions from local residents. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic means we cannot have a physical exhibition, so, instead, we are making this exhibition virtual with a comprehensive set of plans and information arriving soon on our website. This virtual exhibition page will also have the option to submit feedback and ask questions – which we look forward to answering
In the meantime, we would be happy to receive your comments and questions via the contact page of our website www.cranleighhealthtrust.org