I WANTED to respond to the letter from Mr Ford regarding my involvement in the campaign to stop the Sainsbury’s Southampton road planned development.

The campaign against the planning application has been a very interesting process.

When the revised application was first proposed there was a great deal of public concern but no common action.

Lots of people were saying that the application should be opposed and several were asking if someone was going to organise a campaign.

The comment that prompted me to act came from Hamish Mundell at a discussion about the youth service consultation.

He said to me that he wanted to act but was unsure how to get a campaign running.

At that point I decided to help him get a petition and campaign up and running.

As a member of the planning committee I am required to have an open mind on any issue which comes before us.

In the case of the Sainsbury’s application I don’t have an open mind.

I don’t think any argument could sway me to support the plans so I would not be able to take part in the decision anyway.

Based on that, I felt able to act in support of the campaign.

It has since transpired that the application will probably be heard at strategic planning, a committee on which I do not sit anyway.

As part of this process I have also been able to get a survey looking at where people do and don’t want potential new supermarkets, which I hope will be useful in assisting with any planning decisions.

Richard Clewer, Wiltshire councillor, St Paul’s war, Salisbury