DEVELOPERS behind plans for a new shopping centre and cinema at Botley in Oxford are delaying the next round of consultation.

Doric Properties was due this month to present more detailed proposals to transform West Way shopping centre into a multi- million pound redevelopment.

But the company says that it will not now be launching the second round of public consultation in September.

Doric says the switch will avoid people on holiday missing out, while allowing time for further work on the scheme, which would also deliver a new civic centre, a library and a large car park.

Simon Hillcox, of Doric Properties, said: “Doric recognises the proposed regeneration is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Botley and this additional time allows us to consider the feedback we have received to date.

“Moving the consultation events out of a popular holiday period should also give more opportunity for residents to attend.

“We are aware that the local community will want to share their views on the plans and we wish to provide them with the best chance to do this.”

He said that despite the delay, the company still intended to submit a planning application by the end of the year. Surrey-based Doric says after listening to local views it hopes to come forward with plans to double the size of Botley Library and provide a civic facility with a stage bigger than the existing Seacourt Hall.

In the spring residents carried out their own consultation, receiving 700 responses, with four fifths of them saying Elms Parade, which fronts the shopping area, should remain as it is now.

Residents also expressed concern about the loss of Field House, a retirement home, which could be demolished as part of the scheme.

Chris Church, a resident behind West Way Community Concern group, said: “We are not surprised that there is going to be a delay.

“From the public meeting they must have taken the message that there is significant concern.

“Our position is that Elms Parade and Field House should not be part of the development.

“If they insist on going ahead they will have a substantial fight on their hands.

“The shopping area, office blocks and two car parks mean there would still be a large amount of land in an extremely desirable location.

“This is not a roundabout on the ring road but a big area where thousands of people live.”