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LETTER : Unfair tax benefits help superstores kill market towns

LUDLOW is not a typical English country town. It is constricted on three sides by two rivers, three escarpments, and a medieval town wall. In this it resembles Toledo.

It is physically impossible to introduce into the heart of the town the number of cars implied by its population and hinterland without demolishing many of the buildings that constitute its beauty. As it is, its two main Georgian streets have been desecrated in deference to the people who live and work in them.

Its ills long precede Thatcherism and date from the change in balance between the wealth of the countryside and cities.

The incursion of Brummies creating second homes out of proletarian cottages is of more than 20 years' standing. And to my certain knowledge it has been impossible to get a pair of shoes repaired in the town for the same period: they have long been sent to Birmingham.

Ludlow's beauty could only be preserved as it was by a fossilisation. For long this was partially achieved, as town planners opted in favour of tourism instead of industry.

The Ludlow Civic Society, of which I am a life member, has fought heroically and often successfully to square the circle. However, as your article hints, many of the town's problems are insoluble.

Kenneth Burgin

Woodford Green, Essex