Have your say – about CVHT


Dear supporters,

As you know, Cranleigh Society speaks up for Cranleigh residents when there is something to be concerned about. In particular when green fields are under threat.

CVHT is a charity that was formed in good faith to save our beds in Cranleigh hospital over 20 years ago.

The original plan was simply to save Cranleigh Village Hospital beds from closure.  The financial argument was excellent and put forward by Cranleigh GPs.  Step up/step down beds in local small hospitals cost less than in large acute hospitals. GPs and nurses used to care for the patients and were in contact with consultants at RSCH etc.

Once it became apparent that the beds alone could not be saved, because of NHS policy changes, the community gave money for the hospital building, and more money in bequests has been donated.  The money was firstly for the building – to buy it from the NHS so they could use the money to pay for staffing to keep the beds open.  We were told they valued the hospital site at £1million.

70 CVHT volunteers worked to bring this story to life and get the job done – save the beds.  However, it didn’t work at all.  The NHS policy changed several times. They wanted community beds, then they didn’t, then they did again and finally decided that they did not and closed the beds in Cranleigh and focused on Milford Hospital.

The revised plan was to acquire land and build a new hospital AND health centre, funded by mortgages that the GPs would help with.

The field behind Marks and Spencers – known as the Paddock – was owned by Cranleigh Parish Council and had fallen into disrepair as a sports field.  The person who owned the land on the other side of Knowle Lane suggested the Paddock could be used to build a new medical centre and hospital and that some of his land could be used to make better sports facilities.  This was legally agreed.  The sports provision has been made and is used successfully.

This got planning permission and support from the community, but then it was changed when the financial burden on the GPs became untenable and they obtained a government grant to quickly build a new medical centre only, the one we have today.

This meant the finances for a new hospital alone, without the GPs, was unviable and the alternative plan was devised –  to build a care home with hospital grade beds, along with accommodation for care workers. This, however, involved partnering with a care home business to get sufficient finance – planning permission was turned down and the community felt let down all round.

Most of the money donated and raised at the shop was used in pursuit of these ideas, professional fees cost a lot of money.

Now you can understand that CVHT state that they want to find a way to get income from the Paddock to give back to the community for health purposes. The Parish council may agree. Do let your elected representatives – Parish and Borough councillors –  know your opinions.  

Meeting of Parish Councillors tonight – you can attend and make a statement when invited to. You can write in with your views.  You can wait for the survey to be officially published.  


Your Opinion Counts: Help Us Reimagine The Knowle Lane Site!

 Dear Cranfold Resident,

The Cranleigh Village Health Trust (CVHT) needs your help! We are considering the future use of our land in Knowle Lane (known locally as ‘The Paddock’) and would like your views.

Originally, we planned to develop the field into a health facility. However, our proposal was rejected. Now, we are exploring other uses, but any changes must meet certain criteria.

We would need approval from Waverley Borough Council Planning Department, and support from Cranleigh Parish Council, with whom we are sharing this survey. Also, a third-party developer would be required to help develop the site.

The land is a potentially valuable asset, and its development could raise a significant amount of money to fund healthcare and wellbeing services in the village.

Any proposal must be in accordance with our charitable objectives, which mean that the land can only be used or sold for “the protection of public health in Cranleigh and the surrounding areas”. Proceeds from a sale would fund local healthcare and wellbeing provision.

Please share your preferences and ideas with us for its future use.

Possible Options:

 Following discussions with Cranleigh Parish Council, we would welcome your views on other possible uses of the land.

-Selling the field for commercial development.

-Selling for developing a community facility possibly connected to a new leisure centre.

-Selling for developing affordable housing, potentially for healthcare workers.

We would welcome your thoughts on other suggestions that would be consistent with the criteria set out in this letter.

Share your thoughts by:

 -Completing our online survey at www.cvhtsurvey.co.uk

-Sending an email to response@cvhtsurvey.co.uk

-Mailing your response to [PO Box, TBCJ Please respond by 30th September 2023

Your responses will be discussed with local stakeholders to guide our next steps. We appreciate your help.

Cranleigh Village Health Trust Company No: 04253074

Registered charity number: 1089861

Registered address: Bourne House, Queen Street, Gomshall, GUS 9LY

Cranleigh Village HEALTH TRUST

Hello! What is Cranleigh Civic Society? Who is it for?

What is Cranleigh Civic Society?

Have you ever wondered – is there a group of people passionate about their home village, not political, able to get attention from the councils, MPs and infrastructure providers? People willing to find out facts and figures and challenge? People who really want to preserve nature and habitats, and see housing and businesses in the best places only?

There is! They are called Civic Societies and they flourish across England.  Cranleigh Civic Society was started in 2014, by a group of people who originally signed up to help develop Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan  (NP).  It became apparent that the NP could not stop or substantially reduce around 1800 dwellings being built in and around Cranleigh. Research suggested Civic Societies could help and influence the authorities in planning matters.  Cranleigh Civic Society was formed, a web site with links to Facebook and Twitter created, memberships invited and meetings held.  Sadly the society only managed to inform public and councillors and delay planning permission being granted many times. This is because the Governments truly believe Britain must build to thrive, and local opinions must be over-ridden at Judicial Reviews (JR).  A judicial review comes about after planning application is turned down, and the developer appeals.  The process costs our planning authority – Waverley BC – huge amounts of the community’s money to fight, bearing the costs if it loses.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the Government’s economic, environmental and social planning policies for England. The policies set out in this framework apply to the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans and to decisions on planning applications. The NPPF covers a wide range of topics including: housing, business, economic development, transport and the natural environment. To read the latest version click here

The Government is changing the NPPF to make it more streamlined and quicker for everyone.  To read the consultation of December 2022 please click here and respond if you can.

Who we are – Cranleigh Society –

click to read  2022 7th Dec AGM Minutes v2 

We are Trevor & Sue, Diane, Lorraine and James, Bob & Coral, Howard, Chris, Joanna. We are all retired from various professions and most have lived in Cranleigh for decades. We all have other hobbies and interests such as volunteering, golf, badminton, u3a groups, pantomimes, walking, ecology, and visiting Cranleigh Arts Centre events. We meet in the Three Horseshoes pub in Cranleigh on the fourth Wednesday in each month and welcome new people along to chat, and maybe join in.  We charge a small membership fee just to pay for the insurances and website.  We have a few hundred subscribers and around 150 members.

Who is it for? 

Anyone of any age is extremely welcome to subscribe, become a member, and join the team of workers!   Please email membership@cranleighsociety.org

What we do

Since it started the main work of the group is looking into planning applications and how they will affect Cranleigh.  We have learned about planning application laws and processes and put in our opinions both as individuals and sometimes as a group.  We are passionate about conserving what is great about the environment we live in, both natural and built.

Sometimes we are so vexed about a topic that we ask for a meeting to get answers and raise concerns, with whichever authority is involved, such as Parish, Borough or County Council or Thames Water or the Environment Agency.

We share the facts and figures on this website as best we can.

A little history

The London Society was established in 1907

The London Society is a British membership organisation established to encourage public interest and participation in urban planning and transport matters in London as well as to study and celebrate the capital’s unique history and character. It is among the oldest civic societies in the United Kingdom.

York Civic Trust founded at the Mansion House in 1946

by four men — John Bowes Morrell, Oliver Sheldon, Eric Milner-White and Noel Terry —  who saw the potential dangers that could beset an historic city immediately after the war, when there was a prevailing ‘spirit of renewal’.   These founder members had experience in various fields including the Church and commerce, but above all they had a passion for York. They intended that the Trust should have a wider remit than preservation alone, and hoped it would assist in schemes to improve the amenities in the city.  From that time onwards, we have sought to “Promote Heritage —  Shape Tomorrow”.  The post war period was a time when serious planning about the city’s future was underway, as you can see from this article ‘A Plan for the City of York (1948)’.  A fundamental aim of the Trust was to work with the City Council to help and offer ideas and assistance.

The Civic Trust was founded in 1957

by Duncan Sandys, a British politician, and the former son-in-law of Sir Winston Churchill. It campaigned to make better places for people to live. It ran until 2009 before going into administration due to a shortage of funding.

Civic Trust Programmes:

The Civic Trust’s programmes were passed onto various other organisations, and the main ones can be seen in the list below:

Civic Trust Awards was founded in 1959 and is still going strong today. It’s one of the oldest built environment award schemes in Europe.

Heritage Open Days is coordinated nationally by the The National Trust.

Civic Voice is a national charity that has taken over the cause for the civic movement of England. It aims to make places more attractive, enjoyable, distinctive, and promotes civic pride. It is the umbrella organisation for hundreds of Civic Societies and other member organisations.

Community Spaces is now managed by Groundwork UK.

The Green Flag Award scheme is still owned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, but is now managed by Keep Britain Tidy.

BizFizz is now owned and managed by the New Economics Foundation.

The Purple Flag Award is now owned and managed by the Association of Town Centre Managers.


What is concerning you here in Cranleigh? come and chat?

What is concerning you here in Cranleigh? come and chat?

Come along! Wednesday 25th January from 6pm

Cranleigh Society invites you to The Three Horseshoes pub – Wednesday 25 January – for a meet up to talk through concerns and actions we can take to improve lives in Cranleigh.

Do come along.  The pub food is good too so we have our evening meal there.

Issues we are following and trying to influence for the better –

Planning applications, High Street, Thames Water, Cycling routes, GP surgery, further medical services, conservation of our Heritage – Cranleigh Cottage Hospital, water quality in our streams,


Annual open meeting and AGM, news of Napper Cottage 7th Dec Band Room 7pm

Annual open meeting and AGM, news of Napper Cottage 7th Dec Band Room 7pm

Annual open meeting and AGM, news of Napper Cottage 7th Dec Band Room 7pm

All welcome  and those who support and are current members will have the chance to vote for the team and for the next steps for Napper Cottage Project.

Refreshments on arrival, please come along, and perhaps you would like to be a more active member, helping the team to find things out and hold our representatives to account?

kind regards

Secretary and team


Congratulations!  Elizabeth Townsend BEM!

Congratulations! Elizabeth Townsend BEM!

Cranleigh Society is delighted to read that Liz Townsend has been awarded a medal today – a British Empire Medal!

Congratulations!!!  The role of volunteering in Britain today is ever more needed and it’s great to see it applauded. Whether people join a voluntary organisation like Lions Club International or Rotary Club, or become councillors and so on, all volunteering is fantastic – thank you to all volunteers in our community and especially today – Mrs Elizabeth Townsend BEM.

When Liz and Phil were bringing up their sons Liz worked extremely hard to help Cranleigh Rugby Club, which all the other parents and their children were rightly amazed by. Phil always supports Liz.

When Cranleigh’s Green fields looked as if they would be built over Liz and others including Steve Jeacock discovered the Civic Society movement – ‘A civic society may campaign for high standards of planning of new buildings or traffic schemes, conservation of historic buildings, and may present awards for good standards. They may organise litter collections or “best kept village” cleanups.[1]   and so they encouraged the Neighbourhood Plan Housing committee to morph into Cranleigh Civic Society, Liz becoming its Chair.  The work involved in challenging Berkeley homes was enormous but planning rules at Government level held the day as you all know.  Unabashed Liz decided to run for the local Parish Council and won, became chair, and has worked really hard to help Cranleigh be as well served and as lovely a place to live as possible.

When Covid hit the idea of Street Champions appeared and many in Cranleigh were keen to get something going, including Cranleigh Society members and SMART Cranleigh too.  Liz and others made sure Cranleigh Parish Council was quickly set up to offer help to those who are most vulnerable – around 159 Street Champions were enrolled by the council, vetted, and helped to help their neighbours – this service is still in place.

Liz became a Waverley Borough Councillor and more recently is also our Surrey County Councillor.  To do these 3 jobs she reads into the night, and is up bright and early to get on with many meetings and commitments, and to talk to residents about their ideas and needs.  Where action is needed she digs to get things done if possible.  This is the role councillors take on, as volunteers, for no other reason than because they care and want to help others and their community.  When we elect our volunteers we can’t always agree with them, but Liz is certainly one to look up to.

thanks Liz, we are proud of you (and Phil)

Help needed!

Help needed!

LOTS OF HELP NEEDED – Do you know anyone willing and able

  1. HELP NEEDED “Hello we are the local non profit sanctuary for vulnerable adults and children and we are currently struggling to save our care farm animal shelters we have loving built by hand from recycled pallets which are under water as a result of the recent weather.. We have been digging trenches by hand.. Can you help in any way man power or with either free cheap or recycled perforated drainage pipe etc or anything else we can use to help our cause many thanks and much love x The Secret Garden Sanctuary.” click here – to respond and see their FACEBOOK page
  2. HELP NEEDED – SMART CRANLEIGH -click here –  providing all sorts of ways to Connect Cranleigh People to services, clubs and events – they need help to share the information – please get in touch.  Latest news – SMART Cranleigh is working with our shops to put “SLOW Shopping” in place – this means the shops and staff will be open at special times of the week and will help those with any kind of particular needs such as slower pace, quieter, more helpful and chairs for rests, and so on.
  3. HELP NEEDED – Cranleigh Civic Society – please help us with information that is up to date and true that needs to be shared -our web pages articles go to our mail lists, on our Facebook page and on twitter.  We will soon deliver a newsletter too.   ALSO –  JOIN US at the Three Horseshoes Pub on the Second Monday each month – anytime from 6:30 – for friendly conversations about what worries us all and what we can actually do about it – from taking up planning issues with our planners to getting help with floods to information. CCS is here to help.  We also meet at other times of the month so please get in touch to join in…..  comment below