Land row ex-jockey wins £20k

A RACEHORSE trainer is facing a six-figure legal bill after winning less than £20,000 in compensation for thousands of tonnes of waste dumped illegally on his land.

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Former jockey Donal Nolan had initially sought more than £6million for the damage done after rubble containing traces of asbestos - the remains of a Lanark-shire primary school - was tipped on his Wishaw property.

But a judge awarded him just a fraction of his claim against construction giant Advance, which was responsible for the waste, after declaring him to be a "wholly unreliable witness".

Lord Woolman at the Court of Session in Edinburgh reserved the question of expenses, meaning Mr Nolan, 64, may face bills far in excess of the compen-sation he received.

The judge found Mr Nolan had failed to accept reasonable offers by the company to remove the waste, which still lies on the land close to a housing scheme more than three years after it was dumped.

Lord Woolman said: "It is difficult to see what more Advance could have done. By failing to accept the offer made by Advance, Mr Nolan is the author of his own misfortune."

The saga began in November 2010 when contractors working on behalf of Advance tipped around 6000 tonnes of rubble on to the site, a former coal mine on Branchal Road, Cambusnethan in Wishaw.

Mr Nolan and his partner, Melanie Collins, only became aware that the rubble, from the demolished Coltness Primary, was being tipped when they saw trucks arriving on their land days after work began.

Advance - founded by tycoon Seamus Shields - said it had been duped by two men, named in court as William Edward and Jim Aitken, into thinking it had the right to dump on the site, which Mr Nolan and his partner Melanie Collins wanted to develop for housing.

Miss Collins said: "There will be an appeal." Mr Nolan, who retired as a jockey a decade ago, was unav-ailable for comment last night.

david.leask@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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