Letter: Supermarket blight

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The Independent Online
JAMES CAIRD (letter, 28 April) has little grasp on reality if he thinks that "Ludlow shops have much to gain from new trade which will be attracted by a modern supermarket". Here in Malvern there is an arcade of shops on the doorstep of a modern supermarket; 30 per cent of the shops are empty. The adjacent street, the prime shopping area, has the usual signs of supermarket blight - empty premises, "To Let" signs, and charity shops.

The ecology of towns like Malvern and Ludlow is delicate and little understood, or cared about, by planners, supermarket companies, and central government. A local trader only needs to lose 10 per cent of his business to a supermarket giant to find himself trading at a loss.

It has happened all over England and will continue to happen until planning laws change. Currently it is not acceptable to object to a supermarket development on the grounds that its presence will adversely affect the local quality of life. Why not?

DEREK MAGRATH

Malvern, Hereford and Worcester

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