A COLLAPSING riverbank looks set to cost a council £50,000 to prevent homes being flooded.

Pendle Council's Policy and Resources Committee has been told the subsidence on Colne Water could inundate nearby properties.

On Thursday night the senior councillors will be asked to find £50,000 to stop and repair the erosion and prepare plans for a permanent solution.

The collapse on the bank of the river is near Cotton Tree Lane on the Colne/Trawden border on land owned by Pendle Council.

A report from officers tell councillors: "Progressive riverbank failure has been occurring at this location for a prolonged period due to the natural migration of the river.

"The land being eroded is in the sole ownership of the Borough of Pendle.

"Circa-1950 a gas pipeline was constructed across the river which included the construction of masonry piers and a masonry retaining wall.

"The undermining of the retaining wall has led to its collapse.

"The presence of the masonry is further promoting the erosion of the adjacent riverbank and poses a risk to blocking the river under a bridge.

"There is a concessionary footpath across Pendle Council’s land at the top of the eroded riverbank. The erosion has created a sheer drop directly adjacent to the footpath. A timber post and rail fence was erected to minimise the danger to footpath users.

"The riverbank continues to be eroded by the river at a fast rate due to the nature of the migrated alignment of the channel.

"The collapsed masonry in the river channel poses a risk of potentially blocking the river channel under the bridge which could lead to the flooding of numerous properties on Cotton Tree Lane."

The report asks the committee is asked to agree to spend £30,000 for short term riverbank repair works and £20,000 for design work to enable a funding bid to be made to the Environment Agency to provide a long-term solution.

Waterside ward Liberal Democrat Cllr Tony Greaves said: "It is important the council do this work before the riverbank becomes really dangerous."

Pendle Council leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said: "This is something we need to do. The question is where do we get the money from?"

The officers' report also reveals: "The council obtained counsel’s opinion as to whether gas supplier Cadent could be partially liable for the repair of the collapse but the advice was that the council would be unlikely to be successful in suing Cadent.

"Cadent were approached but did not accept any liability and did not offer a contribution."