PLANS to build a new marina in Burnley could be halted over fears about underground mines and gas.

An assessment by the Coal Authority revealed the site off Colne Road, which could be used to house the multi-million pound development, had 'mining hazards which need to be considered'.

It classified the former coal mining area as 'high risk' and said building on the site could cause issues with subsidence and or problems with gases.

If given the go-ahead, the marina would be able to accommodate 80 canal barges and plans include a clubhouse, shop, washing facilities, parking for staff and visitors and cycle storage.

It would be built on the former Bank Hall Miners Club, which was destroyed by a large fire in 1993.

The club, which was known as a mecca for Northern Soul fans, was never rebuilt and the site stood empty for years becoming a target for fly-tippers.

Brian Hobbs, the president of Burnley's Chamber of Trade, said he hoped the Coal Authority's assessment would not stop the plans going ahead.

He said: "This is obviously a small hiccup which we hope will be sorted out soon.

"If the investigations have to be carried out then they should be and any alterations or work which needs to be done can be carried out.

"It's a really pleasing proposal because it will benefit the town massively.

"It would be a real leisure attraction and Burnley can use leisure as a lever to get people into town."

Within a planning document, a spokesman on behalf of applicant Lee Plaister said the new build would be 'of benefit to the community in terms of waterside regeneration, tourism and generating interest to the local canal network'.

The Coal Authority said intrusive site investigations would need to be conducted and a comprehensive report for any remedial works must be submitted for their approval.

Melanie Lindsley, planning liaison manager at the authority, said: "I have reviewed the proposals and confirmed the application site falls within the defined 'development high risk area', therefore within the application site and surrounding area there are coal mining features and hazards which need to be considered.

"The Coal Authority records indicate the site is in an area of likely historic unrecorded coal mine workings at shallow depth.

"Having reviewed the available coal mining and geological information the coal mining risk assessment concludes there is a potential risk posed to the development by past coal mining activity.

"Intrusive site investigation works should be undertaken prior to development in order to establish the exact situation regarding coal mining legacy issues on the site.

"The Coal Authority considered that due consideration should also be afforded to the potential risk posed by mine gas."

The coal authority does not object to the proposed development subject to the investigations and any remedial works being carried out.

Mr Plaister was unavailable for comment, however within a report to Burnley Council he submitted a mining risk assessment conducted by Earth Environmental and Geotechnical.

In the report a spokesman from Earth Environmental and Geotechnical said: "There are no recorded shallow workings beneath the site.

"The site is located within a development high risk area, due to probable shallow unrecorded workings associated with a conjectured outcropping coal seam.

"The Coal Authority report has highlighted an absence of recorded shallow coal mine workings beneath the site.

"There is however a potential for future subsidence associated with unrecorded mine workings, namely the Lower Bent coal seam.

"As a result, further site investigation work is considered necessary which will require a permit, and fee, from the Coal Authority."