Sir - Never accept a developer's word at first meeting. For over two years, the people of Jericho have been lobbying British Waterways (BW) that, if a new bridge had to be provided across the canal, it should be a traditional lift bridge in keeping with the canal's heritage and providing a level crossing. The response came that in no circumstances was a lift bridge acceptable. They would not budge on the issue and it was not open for debate. An intrusive high-level crossing was the only option.

Lo and behold, a mere fortnight after the people of Jericho demonstrated on the issue, the developers, Spring, with the support of BW, have submitted an application for a lift bridge.

While this is, no doubt, an attempt to win over the massive opposition to the redevelopment of Jericho boatyard, it contains in itself a message: do not accept what the developers say and keep opposing destructive proposals.

The development of the boatyard still remains unacceptable, being destructive and alien to this unique area.

Rather than placating opposition, the developers' 180 degree change will encourage the opposition and spur them forward until they achieve their goal, a refusal of planning permission by the city council.

Paul Hornby, Oxford