When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
West Way plans change to allay local concerns
10:00am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
SIGNIFICANT changes will be made to a controversial £100m project to flatten and rebuild Botley’s shopping centre, developers say.
More than 450 residents have had their say over the plans as part of a second consultation into the scheme.
Now Doric Properties says it is studying the feedback and says it will make a series of changes in an effort to placate concerns from residents.
The existing proposals would mean bulldozing the current shopping centre, Elm’s Parade of shops, Botley Baptist Church and Field House retirement home.
Doric wants to flatten the West Way shopping centre and surrounding buildings to make way for a new shopping centre, six-screen cinema, a bigger health centre, supermarket, bigger library, and 600 student flats.
Campaigners say the scheme must be scaled down – and are warning they will not back down if Doric’s changes are purely cosmetic.
Details on the reaction to the current plans will be revealed within a fortnight.
But Doric said it was too early to say what the changes would be.
A spokesman said: “The review is expected to result in significant changes to the design to address issues raised.”
Many residents oppose the plans and have launched campaign group, West Way Community Concern, to fight them.
Spokesman Chris Church said: “If Doric comes back with a smaller proposal, we would be delighted but until then we will be making sure that’s what we get.
“We don’t want Doric Properties’ supermodel. I imagine Doric wants to make as few changes as possible to quieten down the protest but we won’t be silenced.
“It is a long way until the final whistle and we won’t take our eye off the ball.”
Last week, councillors at a full meeting of Vale of White Horse District Council said they wanted to review the plans at a scrutiny committee.
The owners of Elm’s Parade, the Howse family, say they are reluctant to sell.
Howse family trustee Arthur Howse, 76, said: “We are still determined to hold out. We are only too pleased people have said to us they like Elm’s Parade.
“To us, it is more than money. We have an emotional tie to it.”
But when asked if he would consider selling for an acceptable price, Arthur Howse said: “It would have to be an exceptionally high offer.”
Comments are closed on this article.