Controversial plans to build an £8million health facility close to ancient woodland have been withdrawn.

Earlier this year the Sue Ryder Care charity, which runs Cuerden Hall, in Cuerden Valley Park, unveiled its plans within its grounds.

Objections were widespread from neighbours and campaigners set up to organise opposition.

The charity, which cares for people with serious neurological diseases, has withdrawn the scheme from planning consideration.

A Sue Ryder spokesman said: “There is a proven demand for additional services in Lancashire for individuals with complex disabilities and long term neurological conditions and we are committed to developing Cuerden Hall to offer this much needed specialist care.

“Since submitting our initial planning application to Chorley Borough Council to develop Cuerden Hall, we have subsequently recognised areas where it would be beneficial for us to undertake further detailed research and provide additional reports.

“With this in mind, we have made the decision to withdraw our existing planning application, with a view to resubmitting later on in the year.

“We will be working even more closely with the Cuerden Hall community, local NHS services, Lancashire County Council, local residents and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure we have all of the information and insight necessary to successfully resubmit an application to develop Cuerden Hall.

“The health and wellbeing of our existing and future residents is always our top priority and we are confident, that together, we can create the kind of sustainable and specialist neurological care service that these individuals need and deserve.”

A spokesman for Sue Ryder, said: “We’ve had a huge response from people who have massive concerns about the green belt. We are pleased the plans are on hold and in the long term would like them to be considered for an alternative site.”