Having read Richard Lyons article (Planners hands tied by legislation, August 10) may I be allowed to comment on the statement by Graham Willins with respect to his views on why Worcester Park is sadly in decline.

His statement that the council has no control over fast food or restaurants opening in empty shops is in itself inaccurate. The premises where they are allowed to open require permission to change to A3 (restaurant - cafe or fast food) use.

The planning applications are no longer posted outside the premises and no one knows what is going on until the traders open their doors. These restaurants etc fetch no trade into Worcester Park as their trade, in the main, is usually outside normal shop trading hours.

When the Worcester Park Traders' Association was a reality they were assured that applications for change of use would be contested after the pizza restaurant opened.

However, our councillors reneged on their word saying that a change of use was preferred to an empty shop.

Similarly the shop owners pushed for Christmas lights and put their hands in their pockets for the implementation of the lights. However, the design of the lights was decided by our councillors without any consultation with the shop owners. The lights have since become a dim' joke.

As to the opening of a Sainsbury's Local so close to what will become a Sainsbury's superstore at North Cheam, it should be noted that other similar applications throughout London have been successfully opposed.

Let us as a community resign ourselves to the fact that revenue from empty shops and housing developments has priority over what is good for a community.

J PATEL Central Road Worcester Park