Both sides in West Way development row claim report's backing

An artist’s impression of the development

An artist’s impression of the development

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

A ROW has broken out between opponents and supporters of the West Way redevelopment scheme over a report published by an influential architecture body.

Both sides have claimed it backs up their arguments about the controversial £100m project planned for Botley, which would see the current shopping centre flattened and replaced with a new, larger complex.

The report was commisioned by the Vale of the White Horse District Council.

In it, the South East Regional Design Panel, which is made up of 26 industry experts in planning and architecture, said in a summary of the scheme: “The local centre at Botley is faded and seemingly no longer meets the needs of the community. Redevelopment offers the prospect of a better retail offer, improved connections with the surrounding area and better community facilities.

“The main planning moves in the layout are supported... [but] the full potential of West Way has yet to be met.”

More needed to be done to make the designs fit in with the Botley area, the inspectors added.

Developer Doric Properties was the first to claim victory, in a statement which said the report was “a positive overall assessment”.

The firm added: “[It] recommended some detailed changes. Doric is addressing this feedback as part of a design review.”

But campaigners of West Way Concern responded angrily to the comments and said the report supported many of their views instead.

Oxford Mail:

Chris Church.

Co-chairman Chris Church said: “The idea that it gave the go-ahead which is what Doric’s press release claims is not the case.

“There were some serious issues raised by the design panel, we were glad to see they have concerns about Elms Parade. The report certainly raised a lot of concerns.”

Doric joint owner Simon Hillcox said: “Doric Properties believes the report shows considerable support from the panel, in particular for the principle of the development.

“We believe that most people will reach the same conclusion as us and welcome them to read the summary for themselves.”

But there were also claims by Vale of the White Horse district councillor for North Hinksey and Wytham, Debby Hallett, that she had been misrepresented by Doric, which in its statement said she had been present for site inspections.

In a post on social networking website Facebook, she said: “They implied the Design Panel Report thought their design was good, and that I agreed with it. Not true. They implied I participated in the Design Panel.”

Doric later confirmed it had updated its press release.

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Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:46pm Mon 7 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says...

Co-chairman Christ Church said: “The idea that it gave the go-ahead which is what Doric’s press release claims is not the case.


Well it has my approval, anybody else pro or anti?
Co-chairman Christ Church said: “The idea that it gave the go-ahead which is what Doric’s press release claims is not the case. Well it has my approval, anybody else pro or anti? The New Private Eye
  • Score: 1

3:57pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Sophia says...

The shopping centre is such a miserable dump that almost anything would be an improvement
The shopping centre is such a miserable dump that almost anything would be an improvement Sophia
  • Score: -2

5:01pm Mon 7 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

Start building as soon as possible
Start building as soon as possible mytaxes
  • Score: -2

5:52pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Abingdon Neil says...

I don't think there are many people who disagree that the area could do with some redevelopment or refurbishment.

It is the scale, design and make up of the specific proposals that so many people object to.
I don't think there are many people who disagree that the area could do with some redevelopment or refurbishment. It is the scale, design and make up of the specific proposals that so many people object to. Abingdon Neil
  • Score: 3

10:19pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Localyokel99 says...

It's a boring scheme that trashes local heritage and makes Botley the same bland boring 'anywheretown' as every other development... Go to Oxford or Didcot or Winey if you want a lowest common denominator experience. Yes Botley needs development but for the good of the community not the developers
It's a boring scheme that trashes local heritage and makes Botley the same bland boring 'anywheretown' as every other development... Go to Oxford or Didcot or Winey if you want a lowest common denominator experience. Yes Botley needs development but for the good of the community not the developers Localyokel99
  • Score: 4

9:17am Tue 8 Jul 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Localyokel99 wrote:
It's a boring scheme that trashes local heritage and makes Botley the same bland boring 'anywheretown' as every other development... Go to Oxford or Didcot or Winey if you want a lowest common denominator experience. Yes Botley needs development but for the good of the community not the developers
There is no part of the current scheme that has any merit.

The only reason Elm's Parade looks in any way tolerable is in much the same way that the weed that you would dig out of your well tended garden borders in an instant would offer a hint of life in an otherwise barren, degraded brownfield site.
[quote][p][bold]Localyokel99[/bold] wrote: It's a boring scheme that trashes local heritage and makes Botley the same bland boring 'anywheretown' as every other development... Go to Oxford or Didcot or Winey if you want a lowest common denominator experience. Yes Botley needs development but for the good of the community not the developers[/p][/quote]There is no part of the current scheme that has any merit. The only reason Elm's Parade looks in any way tolerable is in much the same way that the weed that you would dig out of your well tended garden borders in an instant would offer a hint of life in an otherwise barren, degraded brownfield site. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

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