THANK you to Cllr Michael Parsons for making the point that Middlewich needs more shops.

In Cheshire East Council’s Local Plan, adopted last July 20, Middlewich is named as one of nine Key Service Centres.

These are towns that ‘serve the wider locality and usually have a good range of facilities including shops, schools, cultural and leisure facilities’.

Yet how many Middlewich residents have to go out of Middlewich to shop for every day needs?

Regrettably the ratio of shops to population size is much lower for Middlewich than for all other Key Service Centres by a significant amount.

The benefits of town centre shops are both obvious and desirable.

Town centre shops and amenities reduce the need to travel, which is one of CEC’s Local Plan strategic priorities. They provide social contact for people and especially benefit older retired people They create an urban hub that attracts small businesses.

They contribute to the vibrancy of the town.

It therefore would be perverse to build dwellings on a town centre site most of which is designated ‘primary retail area’ and the remainder designated ‘retail and residential’ - see Middlewich Town Strategy, July 2012.

If this site is used for housing, Middlewich will never be able to interest either small or national retailers to move in even though our population is rapidly expanding.

Already we are the fifth largest of the nine Key Service Centres yet our amenities and infrastructure are the worst.

Yes the ‘eyesore’ must be transformed but in a way that is beneficial for Middlewich. The Tesco blight must be eradicated.

Councillors please take note.

Name and address supplied