MADAM - Your lead story - ‘Planning row erupts in Stroud’ - contains some vitally important points about the limited ability of councils, like SDC, to resist the aspirations of major developers.

These too often seek to build on sites that should be conserved.

Refusal to grant planning permission is predictably followed by an appeal process the costs of which are much more easily born by the developer than by the council.

It is therefore very disappointing that this should have been turned by Mr Carmichael and Mr Wheeler into a party political points scoring exercise.

There is a real problem here and it would have been nice to see some effort to address it rather than apportioning blame as to who caused it.

WS Affleck