A reader letter in this week's paper blames planners and politicians for town centre shops being emptied:

MANY seem surprised by the closure of M&S’s Colchester High Street store yet, when I heard some time ago, that an M&S store was planned for Stanway, this is exactly what I expected.

M&S management are merely looking after their “bottom line”, as companies do.

Read more >>> Marks and Spencer confirms it is closing its High Street shop and relocating

The fault lies with local planners and politicians, who say they wish to encourage thriving town centres but their actions contradict this, and out-of-town developments are repeatedly authorised.

So now we shall have yet another boarded-up premises, yet the land in Stanway, until a couple of years ago, was a green field producing good food which one day soon we may well be in desperate need of.

Planners and politicians should hang their heads in shame.

Ian Standingford