THERE are fears that parts of an industrial estate could be at risk of collapse because of three coal mines underground.

The shafts are located towards the northern end of the Blackrod Industrial Estate in Scot Lane and town councillor Graham Farrington believes the heavy vehicles driving over the site as work goes on in the units could be dangerous.

The south ward representative recently visited the site recently with the the Coal Authority to air his concerns.

During Monday's meeting of Blackrod Town Council, Cllr Farrington said: "I told them about the disused mine and there is a firm using one of the areas for storage of scaffolding.

"There are also drivers going over the shafts in big wagons. These mine shafts are hundreds and hundreds of feet deep.

"The people from the Coal Authority were amazed that they had not been consulted before planning permission was granted for the use of the land."

He said that he had found old maps of the site that show the three mineshafts clsot to the area next to the bungalows.

Members of the town council agreed with Cllr Farrington that there needed to be investigations made by the Coal Authority and by Bolton Council.

Cllr John Price said: "We should notify Bolton Council immediately. If we are aware that there are reports that could cause danger then we should tell them now and to seek a meeting with the Coal Authority.

"I will take Cllr Farrington's word as he is very experienced. In Station Road there was a planning application for a building there and it was turned down because of a report from the Coal Authority."

The town council voted unanimously to inform Bolton Council about the discovery immediately, which was done yesterday morning.

A spokesman from Bolton Council said: "If there are any concerns which the Coal Authority report to us, we can look into them."