Sir; I refer to your article about the apparent opposition of 'people' to granting supermarket chains planning permission for out of town developments ('The People's Planopoly', The Grocer, 2 December 2006). It appears the main opponents are Friends of the Earth. If it is indeed so that planning authorities are listening to them, that is a great pity and rather undemocratic as they represent less than 1% of the population.

If these supermarkets were so bad then their stores would be empty and consequently they would not need any further planning permissions. The success of Tesco, Asda and the like is solely governed by the fact people like to shop there and that is because they provide what the public wants. After all there is a lot to be said about doing most of one's shopping under one roof and at a very competitive price, moreover it is a lot greener than going by car to a clogged-up town centre where one still cannot find the selection available at these large supermarkets.

Have Friends of the Earth thought about all the car journeys saved by shopping at these stores? The large stores are maligned because of their success but it is the town planners who started and are continuing the trend of making town centres car-unfriendly - therefore pushing the public to out-of-town supermarkets. The same planners are then worried about life disappearing out of their town centres.

Tesco & Asda are already doing this - but what about getting a mixed planning permission for a large supermarket with, say, 100 flats above. We need more housing and this would save the available land for building and provide something highly acceptable in terms of planning.