WHEN the town centre comes in for criticism on these pages, one issue I believe is often overlooked is how the retail parks are thriving.

I visited Ravenhead Retail Park early on Sunday and could not believe how busy it was.

Look around and there has been plenty of investment with new stores there in the past year. There are big names such as Nike and another Starbucks.

So it’s no surprise that with these retail parks thriving our town centres are finding life tougher.

I don’t particularly enjoy the experience of visiting a retail park to shop compared to a strong city or town centre but you can’t deny the impact they are having.

So, when we have the debate about ailing town centres and what their future should be, the presence of the different retail parks should be given consideration.

Star reader, via email