Sir; I wish to respond to 'disgruntled source close to Tesco' accuses Friends of the Earth of 'misleading and misrepresenting' people ('The People's Planopoly', The Grocer, 2 December 2006).

Although Friends of the Earth joined local traders in their campaign in Darlington, the overwhelming response against Tesco in that town was not a result of a co-ordinated campaign by an environmental group but simply democracy in action. The redevelopment of Darlington will now be taken forward with the participation of local traders and the community.

This is exactly the sort of community involvement that is under threat following this week's review by Kate Barker of the planning system. If the system is overhauled in line with her recommendations, the needs of ­businesses will take priority over the needs of the local community.

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