I COMPLETELY agree with the sentiments expressed by Alan Johnson (Letters, July 5).

I was one of the many thousands of people who watched in dismay at the demise of the much-loved Market Hall, only to be replaced by the much-hated shopping mall.

Hopefully we will get back to the Market Place that was the envy of so many of the surrounding towns in the North West.

I agree also that questions need to be asked, and answered, as to what drives these decisions.

There are many unsettling examples actually happening now where greenbelt land and other scarce rural areas are being developed against large community opposition.

Whatever happened to local democracy?

Remember David Cameron's Big Society? What a joke that was.

It never seems to be about community, or local democratic control. If you want to build a few thousand houses on greenbelt land just shove an unnecessary, and unwanted golf course in there somewhere nearby — problem solved.

Sadly, even when our local councillors vote against planning submissions on the grounds of over development, choked-up roads and insufficient infrastructure, it is relatively simple matter for any developer to just wait it out until the Secretary of State overturns the decision.

Fracking being a classic example, but there are many more.

No, it's not about community needs and local democracy — money and power are the controlling factors — all for the greater good.

Hopefully there will be a happy outcome to the Market Hall proposal returning it to what the people wanted 10 years ago.

M Newton

Cornwall Ave

Over Hulton