OBSERVER readers have given a resounding "no" to proposals to erect a "work of art'' on top of an Accrington beauty spot.
In our exclusive phone poll people voted overwhelmingly against the plans to build a panopticon on top of the Coppice.
A total of 321 people rang up to log their votes and a whopping 79 per cent said they did not want see a monument. There were 255 votes against the plan and 66 in favour.
The project to place a £50,000 sculpture on the Coppice has proved controversial since it was first broached in 2003, when residents rejected a "flying saucer" design.
Three new designs were drawn up for phase two of the project and Landroom - a series of giant earth mounds - has now been chosen as the preferred option.
But since the designs were unveiled the Observer has been inundated with letters and phone calls from residents who want the Coppice to be left as unspoiled countryside.
Gayle Knight, spokesperson for Mid-Penine Arts, which is co-ordinating the scheme, said that all comments would be taken on board as part of the official public consultation, which will take place over the next few months.
She added: "Obviously we are interested to hear the views of the public - that is the whole purpose of having such a consultation.
"Quite interestingly, when we did our own consultation around the area our figures showed that over two-thirds of people were in favour of having a sculpture.
"Clearly there are a lot of people who have rung your poll line who have not called us to express their views.
"It is important that they let us know because at the moment the only people calling us are people who are in favour of it. While we appreciate people telling the Observer that they are not in favour, which is very valuable, it is important to the process for them to contact us and add to the consultation."
Leader of Hyndburn Council, Peter Britcliffe, said: "This poll result is a very interesting indication of how Hyndburn people might be feeling on this issue and the Observer is to be congratulated on running it.
"I do not want to express my personal view at this stage but I will be working to ensure that all 47 council members get the chance to vote on it rather than just the Planning Committee."