Sir, - I read Mr Frank McDonald's articles on Ballymun with interest. I agree that it is an ideal opportunity to right the wrong-headedness of the past.

Part of this wrong-headedness has been top-down development. A major design competition would also be top-down in that it would be designed, not people-led. We here in Ballymun want the newly rebuilt town to be people-led. The way to do this would be to have a series of area-based competitions which would allow for more detailed input from local residents.

As each area came up for detenanting and new-build, the architectural competition for that area would learn from the experience of those other areas already rebuilt. This would inevitably lead to the diversity Mr McDonald advocates. It would also leave time and space for such development as housing co-operatives for local residents leading to privately-owned areas and a better social mix. - Yours, etc.,

The Presbytery, Shangan Road, Ballymun, Dublin 9.