Land owner’s anger at damage

Grove lane: Damage caused by lorries carrying material to refurbish Burnley FC training pitches
Grove lane: Damage caused by lorries carrying material to refurbish Burnley FC training pitches

Padiham land owner Mark Hanson, who claimed that he had been left with a £40,000 repair bill after dozens of heavy wagons drove down his access road, has been promised the road will be fixed.

Mr Hanson claimed that Burnley Football Club used the lorries to transport materials needed for a refurbishment programme at training pitches for their players along Grove Lane in Padiham which he and his family own.

During the three month operation large potholes were made in the road and it sank several inches. A number of memorial benches along the lane were also left destroyed.

Mr Hanson claimed his attempts to make the club aware of the problem were ignored or passed over, until this week, when he was given an assurance it would be repaired.

Mr Hanson told the Express: “I received a call from the contractor who carried out the work to say they had been instructed by Burnley Football Club to start the repair work next Monday (November 3rd).

“So I will be watching and waiting to see if this happens.’’

After collecting photographic evidence of the damage Mr Hanson had an engineer’s report drawn up stating the bill for the repair work would be in the region of £40,000.

Mr Hanson, who runs his own demolition company, lives in Pendle Hall Farm at the top of Grove Lane. The property has been in his wife Adele’s family for three generations along with Grove Lane which is a popular and picturesque spot for walkers and horse riders.

The family also used to own the area known as the Grove Lane plantation which is now part of the Forest of Burnley. The plantation overlooks the pitches owned by Burnley Football Club which are usually accessed through Gawthorpe.

Mr Hanson said: “They could not use the Gawthorpe access as there is a small bridge so the articulated wagons would never have driven over that.

“No-one asked for our permission to use Grove Lane and no-one even came to see us to discuss the issue. The lorries just turned up one day in July.

“We regularly had eight wheeled articulated lorries carrying 40 ton loads down here and that is what has caused all the damage.’’

Mr Hanson said he tackled the contractors about the damage only to be told it was the responsibility of Burnley Football Club who had commissioned the firm to carry out the work.

Mr Hanson added: “All I want is for the lane to be restored to how it was before by those responsible for damaging it.”

A spokesman for the football club said: “We’ve been committed to reinstating the road all along. It is a private road but we have a right of way. There has been a lot of vehicle traffic and we have spoken with residents and intend to make good the damage.

The work to improve the playing surfaces on our pitches is finished and we will be starting on the road on Monday.

“We’re not sure how long it will take but we want to get it completed as soon as possible and limit their disruption.

“We have always respected the residents and the last thing we want to do is cause issues.”