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Lewis dispute makes a bad impression

I write in connection with the recent correspondence regarding the ongoing planning difficulties concerning John Lewis at Sprucefield (Write Back, October 5/8).

It is interesting to compare the speed of planning decisions in Belfast with those for Lagan Valley. I gather the £360m Royal Exchange retail development in Belfast has been given the green light by Minister Attwood, so I cannot understand why a much smaller development at Sprucefield should be so irksome for shopkeepers in Belfast.

Really, what Northern Ireland needs is not more retail developments at all, but manufacturing plants.

The planning dispute over John Lewis gives a bad impression to potential investors, such as myself, in the manufacturing sector.

Perhaps Jeffrey Donaldson's constituency should be renamed Lagging Valley?

JOHN BANNER

Turck Banner Ltd

Wickfield, Essex

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