POSTERS advertising the launch of a new development in Horwich were tied to lampposts in front of poppies ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

The poppies were tied to a number of lampposts on Chorley New Road to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The signs advertising the launch of Barton Quarter, owned by Bellway Homes, were placed on top of the poppies, completely covering them.

Stewart Wilson noticed one of the signs outside St Joseph's School on Friday and stopped to take a photo.

He said: "I spotted it when we were on our way to Tesco. I saw it and thought that was wrong. It's disrespectful. I didn't expect it to go as it did. I don't usually put things like that online."

Stewart posted the image on Facebook which received an angered response from many locals with one calling to "boycott Bellway".

Most of the posters were removed later that evening but Steven Winward, who saw the images on social media, spotted one remaining on a lamppost near the Beehive roundabout.

He: "I saw it on Facebook during the the day but I’d been working away in Oxford. Now I knew that a lot of people had complained already to Bellway on social media who said they had been to take the signs down.

"I went last night about 9pm to check myself because it had really annoyed me after seeing the effort people had gone to put poppies and memorial stuff up and they’d still missed one on the Beehive roundabout.

"So I went to grab my ladders and snips and took it down to make a point. It’s 100 years and it was so disrespectful. I was fuming."

Steven is now hoping that the video of him taking the sign down will go viral so that he can raise money through it for the Poppy Appeal.

Horwich town councillor Marie Brady was not happy with the way the situation was dealt with.

She said that the images should not have been posted on social media and instead, they should have been reported to the town council or the local branch of the British Legion.

Cllr Brady said: "We didn't want people going out on ladders on a wet and windy evening to take them down."

Responding to the criticism, a spokesman for Bellway Homes said: “We are deeply embarrassed by the appointed contractor's lack of respect and sincerely apologise for the offence that this caused to the local community in Horwich.

"When we were made aware that the poppies had been covered by our development signage boards, we immediately sought to rectify the situation and they were removed as a matter of urgency by our own staff who worked late into the evening to take them down.

“We have the utmost respect for Armistice Day and for our military forces, and Bellway is currently supporting the Royal British Legion across the business.

“We could never have imagined that our signage contractor would cover the poppies with the marketing boards. This was a disrespectful mistake and one that we corrected as soon as possible.

“We are working with the contractor to ensure that nothing of this nature should happen again, either for us or for another of their clients.”