Last week’s article ‘Jobs part of package as Asda unveils plans’ (Times Series, September 4) gave what I feel is a biased picture of Asda’s scheme to build a superstore in New Barnet.

Firstly Asda is a supermarket chain and has no interest in the altruistic regeneration of areas. It is interested in building a store to generate more profits and brand share for the company.

The article refers to Asda providing “much needed housing”. Building more than 200 flats in blocks above retail space is a means of squeezing the maximum profit out of a high-density development. It is also a sweetener to Barnet Council as it helps meet the council’s target for new homes in the borough. However in terms of local need, the demand is for houses and there is already a surplus of flats.

Your article emphasised that Asda’s development would create jobs.

But this is misleading. A major study of the impact of new superstores conducted by the Retail Planning Forum (part-funded by the supermarkets) found that on average 276 local people lost their jobs as a result of each of these stores opening. The job losses were not only among shopkeepers and shop workers, but included professional and trades people.

The type of jobs on offer at supermarkets are generally low-skilled and low-paid, and unlikely to equal the quality employment likely to be lost.

Superstore developments by centralised national chains do not benefit local economies.

I Richard, Crescent Road, New Barnet