Dear Editor, It is interesting to note the comments by Council deputy leader Ian Ward that the people of Shard End welcomed the proposed building of 400 houses on green belt land.

Where he gets his information from amazes us.

To my knowledge this question has not been raised at any of the local residents meetings which I attend and furthermore the development of the Shard End shopping and housing project has been an abject failure.

This project was a good idea originally until the Co-op became the anchor store and dictated which other traders could occupy the new premises.

The residents of Shard End lost 25 plus shops that catered for our daily requirements (those shops had served the community for decades, small businesses and family stores, but part of the community).

People at the time stated that they would not shop at the Co-op but I made the point that as a great many are elderly and infirm they would have no choice, which has proven to be the case. The shops that we had were in need of renovation, but that was because the city council (mainly through the housing department) failed to provide adequate supervision and maintenance to the property.

What the people of this area want is to see our old traders back in situ with prices they can afford and service that was invaluable to all.

Dave Pithie

Shard End