A TWO-ACRE site has been put up for sale to create a new shopping quarter in Botley.

Vale of White Horse District Council wants to sell a site next to West Way Shopping Centre to tempt developers and major retailers to help regenerate the area.

The plot is currently home to Botley Baptist Church, Seacourt Hall and Botley Library.

The council is also looking at refurbishing the existing shopping precinct which was built in the 1960s.

Tony de Vere, leader of the council, said: “This area is particularly important because of its proximity to Oxford and that the Botley shopping centre is well used. But it is time to look at new opportunities.”

The council, which has owned part of the site for 10 years, has been working with other landlords to try to spark the redevelopment.

Property agents Cushman and Wakefield are marketing the area and taking proposals from developers and retailers.

Jayesh Soni, of Westway Jewellers in The Square, said: “The area needs revitalisation. Trade here is very slow but the question is whether it because of the area or because of the economy.

“But this should be welcomed.”

If the site is revamped the church will be relocated and a replacement for Seacourt Hall will be provided for the community.

Botley Library is under threat from Oxfordshire County Council cuts, but would also have a place in the new development if saved.

Briony Newport, chairman of North Hinksey Parish Council, said: “It is looking tired around there. I am sure some will welcome the news and some will not.”

Arthur Fisher, 95, of Sweetmans Road, said: “The whole area is depressing.”

Neil Clark, 44, of Cedar Road, said: “I am against this. People are very happy with Botley as it is. Seacourt Hall is a great place and the library is fine where it is. We get these promises for a new hall and library but is that really going to happen?”

The Co-op and Tesco, which both have stores in the Westway centre, were unavailable for comment last night.