THE owners of a Chorley golf club and restaurant believes a fire on their site could have been ‘so much worse’.

Wayne Bretherton said he was “angry” after a blaze on The Laurels site on Preston Road in Charnock Richard at 10.20pm on Monday night.

Fire service bosses say it was caused by an unattended bonfire and Mr Bretherton says the course could have been damaged.

He said: “We had just finished our staff meeting and we saw the fire engines coming down the drive with the blue lights flashing.

“We were unaware about what was going on.

“They said they had reports of a fire so I thought the worst with everything that is going on at Winter Hill and expected to be torched.

“But we went in the golf buggie and along the first fairway and the flames were 15ft high.

“It was on part of the land that is undeveloped but we are looking to put a caravan pod complex on there in the future.

“It is disgusting and inconsiderate as it could have spread onto the course.

“Luckily there was a man walking along the footpath, which cuts through the golf course, and he rang the fire brigade to tell them about the fire.

“But if it was later and there had been no-one about they may not have noticed it.

“It is next to some trees and if they had caught fire then it would have got onto the course and it would have been so much worse.”

A Lancashire Fire Service spokesman said: “When the fire crew from Chorley got there they found an unattended bonfire had spread.

“It was a 20m square size but their job was made even harder as they could not get the fire engines near as there was no access.

“But the crews were there until midnight to put the fire out.

“It was a bonfire so it was started deliberately.”

Mr Bretherton is looking at CCTV to try to see who started it.

He said: “I cannot see what consequence would stop people doing it.

“The judicial system is weak as they will probably get a slapped wrist while I would want to see the the book thrown at them.”