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Campaign is launched to save woods

Area: Cuerden Hall in Bamber Bridge

Area: Cuerden Hall in Bamber Bridge

Concerned neighbours have launched a campaign group against plans to build a £8m care centre, claiming it will destroy surrounding woodland.

Cuerden Hall in Bamber Bridge, a care centre run by the Sue Ryder Care charity, unveiled plans to build a brand new facility in the setting of its grounds.

But campaigners say the new development would destroy “ancient” woodland and wildlife.

They have launched a website, savecuerden.org, and group member Sarah Elsy said: “This is medieval woodland, and it’s home to a variety of species.

“We’ve got bats and slow worm, and we’ve got lots of deer and bluebells. We feel very strongly about trying to protect it.”

Sarah, 50, added: “It would be a real shame if it were to go.

“The medieval woodland should be saved for future generations.”

The charity disputes that the woodland affected is “ancient”.

Sue Ryder Cuerden Hall cares for people living with conditions such as acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease.

The submitted proposals are for a modern, purpose-built facility with 62 en suite rooms, and the specialist centre will offer more choice in care.

Business development manager Paul Harper said: “As a result of the development, we anticipate that a small number of trees will need to be removed.

“However, this area of trees is not ancient woodland and is not on Natural England’s ancient woodland register. 

“The nearest ancient woodland is over 3.8km away to the south east.

“All the trees that would be felled as part of the Cuerden development are poorer quality specimens and generally less than 50 years old.

“The positioning and design of our new building is such that we are able to retain any higher quality specimens.”

 

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