A LANDOWNER who left a sign warning residents to ‘keep out’ has been told to tidy the area up.

Residents near the patch of land between Hawley Street and Knotts Lane, Colne, were left confused last year when the owner erected a sign saying ‘Private Farm. Danger. Deep Water. Keep Out’.

The same message was also sprayed on a wall as well as on a container left on the land.

After a year-long battle the council has now served a Section 215 notice on the landowner, which requires him to tidy the area.

Coun Tommy Cooney, who lives off Knotts Drive, said: “I see this eyesore every day.

“This man is just flying in the face of local residents, and has no concern for them whatsoever.

“It seems this is his way of getting his own back for not getting planning permission, which is not only childish but also shows the complete disregard he really has for the area.

“Now that this notice has been served, we can take firm action. He has to complete the work or we as a council can go in, tidy it up and bill him.

“Either way, it’s time action was taken so that local residents don’t have to live with this mess.

“From a community point of view, tidy gardens and land mean an area looks well cared for, making people feel safe in that neighbourhood.”

Ward councillor and Colne Area Committee chairman Graham Waugh said: “We won’t be pushed over. He’ll either do the work, or pay for it being done. It’s as simple as that.”

In both planning applications for the erection of a house, the applicant was listed as a Padiham-based company called PLDS Company Ltd.