Controversial care home plans resurface

Artist image of the care centre
Artist image of the care centre

Controversial plans to build a neurological care centre in woodland are to be resubmitted, after hundreds signed a petition in support.

Bosses at Sue Ryder withdrew plans in the summer for the 62-bed unit within the grounds of its current Cuerden Hall facility in Cuerden Valley Park, after deciding further research and reports were needed.

It followed opposition from hundreds of people who claimed it would destroy ancient woodland and green belt.

But now, after work was carried out and more than 500 signed a petition in support, charity chiefs are set to submit plans with Chorley Council early next year.

The petition states: “The Cuerden Hall site is the most appropriate and available location for the new care centre.

“It will ensure as little disruption as possible for residents, as well as safeguarding the jobs of 100 staff and volunteers.”

It also says the centre would create 50 jobs and would not impact on any ancient woodland or traffic.

Mike Smeeton, of Sue Ryder, said: “The existing Grade II* listed building cannot meet the current or future needs of the residents, their families or our staff.

“If the proposed development does not take place, future provision for our residents will be uncertain as the building cannot be adapted to allow our residents to live more independently or provide them with accommodation that meets current standards.”

Sarah Elsy, of the Save Cuerden campaign, said: “A planning application has not been resubmitted nor has Sue Ryder consulted with the community and, when they do, at that time it will be interesting to see how much support there really is for more building on green belt or greenfield.

“There are plenty more appropriate sites in the very near local area.”