Botley West Way development plan challenged

Artists impression of central square area of West Way development, suitable for community events Artists impression of the central square area of West Way development, which would be suitable for community events

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A £100m redevelopment plan for a village shopping area near Oxford is to be challenged at a council meeting.

Plans for the West Way shopping area in Botley include student accommodation, a supermarket and a six-screen cinema.

Developers Doric Properties said it wanted to "serve the future needs of a growing community".

The West Way proposal includes:

  • A village square suitable for community events
  • A new, bigger community hall
  • A new library - with 50% greater floor space
  • Provision of space for a medical facility
  • A six-screen cinema operated by Cineworld
  • A choice of restaurants
  • A new community car park with 550 spaces
  • A new Baptist church and hall
  • A variety of local retail units
  • A new supermarket
  • Dedicated student accommodation

But two Vale of White Horse councillors will request cabinet withdraw the option to sell the site to Doric after strong opposition from residents.

Liberal Democrat councillors Debby Hallett and Dudley Hoddinott will tell the Conservative-led full council the plans are "universally unpopular".

'Anonymous faceless entity'

Campaigners from West Way Community Concern said the scale of the development was "totally out of context in this neighbourhood".

Campaigner Jan McHarry said: "We do not want the shopping parade turned into an anonymous, faceless entity which only comprises of known brands."

Doric said the Conservative-led council had been interested in regenerating the area for 15 years.

Simon Hillcox, of Doric Properties, said the proposals were designed "to bring Botley up to date with modern facilities and serve the future needs of a growing community".

He added the regeneration would "create at least 600 new full and part-time jobs".

Plans for the site, near Oxford University colleges and Oxford Brookes University, includes accommodation for 600 students, with a stipulation that students do not drive to and from the site.

The developers signed a conditional agreement with the Vale of White Horse District Council, and a consortium of vendors, to purchase land off West Way for the development.

Ms Hallett and Mr Hoddinott will request the cabinet to withdraw this agreement at the meeting later.

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