LETTER: Who owns field?

I READ with great interest and concern Coun. David Heginbotham’s letter in last Friday’s (January 18th) Burnley Express confiming the outcome of the planning application for the Coal Clough Farm “temporary” access road which will bring misery for years to come to the residents of Mereclough and Overtown, together with Cliviger visitors in general.

The fight by residents to prevent this access road has been well documented so I’m not going to dwell on this, but the one thing that has puzzled me throughout this situation has been the ownership of the land through which this access road will machete its way towards the Kebs.

Being Cliviger born and bred I spent a lot of time during my formative years in the Red Lees Road area and remember that (like a lot of other farms and farmland in the vicinity) the farm adjacent to the field where the road will commence was owned by the Towneley Estate and was always a tenanted property. Taking this into consideration who, therefore, owns the field through which the access road will run?

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Just to pose a hypothetical question, surely the landowner cannot be local because that would really be hypocritical in the extreme and would mean that the good folk of Cliviger have really been betrayed. I haven’t (as yet) checked with the Land Registry to confirm land ownership, but will be doing presently and will share this information when it is to hand.

As for the planning approval itself, what an absolute disgrace. I’m sure that the geological ignorance of the people who were entrusted to make an impartial, experienced and unbiased decision has made the decision itself questionable (to say the least) and I would suggest, in retrospect, that the members of the planning committee who don’t know where Overtown is, go take a look. Maybe you will see the impact of your blase approach to the matter.

Finally, I might suggest to anyone who is affected by the construction of the access road,to complain at EVERY opportunity for any disruption created by the increased traffic etc. LCC have recently done a grand job of resurfacing Sam’s Hill, and it will be interesting to see how long it stays in that condition. The mud that will result from carving out the access road will be carried for miles in both directions, so, if Scottish Power think they can turn Red Lees Road into an extension of the access road, let them know that it won’t be tolerated.

Money might have played a primary role in Scottish Power achieving their objective (the cost to the council, ie council tax payer, for any appeal of the decision would cost thousands) but don’t let them destroy the heritage of such a beautiful part of the country.


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