DOZENS of campaign signs protesting the development of green land around Westhoughton must be taken down, after ‘several’ complaints.

Members of the Hulton Estate Area Residents Together (HEART) group were shocked on Friday when Bolton Council ordered them to take down signs attached to lampposts along Park Road, the Chequerbent roundabout, and Manchester Road.

The group, which is campaigning against proposed building on the Hulton Park estate and at Lee Hall, says it takes no responsibility for the heart-shaped signs being put up and will not pay to have them removed.

Plans for 18-hole golf course on Hulton Park Estate near Westhoughton which could host the Ryder Cup

Sandra Hesketh, the group’s secretary, said: “These signs are given out free at HEART meetings and events to anyone who wants one, with the advice they be displayed responsibly.

“Members of the public, Bolton councillors and even Bolton West MP Chris Green are in possession of one, and display them on their property or place of work.

“HEART does not condone the act of fly-posting nor will we be taking any responsibility or accountability for it. We have advised against it and proactively asked that this be stopped, but our words seem to have fallen on deaf ears. We can only assume this is due to the passion of the local people on current development applications.”

A council spokesman said: “We got in touch with the group, following several complaints, and asked them to take the posters down within five days, which is our standard practice.

“Putting up signs like this on lampposts is not permitted for any organisation, political party, campaign group or individual.

“Should they not be taken down, we will remove them ourselves and we would look to recover the cost.”

Cllr David Chadwick, who is chair of HEART and also the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, added: “I will have to talk to members of HEART, but I am left in no doubt that the posters will have to be taken down because somebody has complained.

“HEART is an organisation that tries to prevent development on Hulton Park and Lee Hall — that is its only purpose. All we are trying to do is show the strength of feeling around the area.

“The person who has complained clearly does not share the view of members of HEART.”