A CONSULTATION on controversial plans for Botley's West Way shopping arcade has been extended.

Vale of the White Horse District Council tonight said residents would have until December 18 to give their views, after it made a series of changes to documents.

The local authority has set out a blueprint for development at the site – a supplementary planning document (SPD) – which will set guidelines for what can be built there.

It does not rule out the demolition of Elms Parade and also permits student accommodation and a cinema.

The district council said the changes it made to the document explained "what it is for, what it’s meant to do, and how it’s within the scope of the existing Local Plan".

It also claimed to have published "all of the background documents... to help residents get the full picture".

The move comes after campaigners questioned its legality and warned they could take legal action, because it was based on a draft Local Plan – presently being examined by a planning inspector – that had not yet become official policy.

The council has argued it is compatible with the existing Local Plan.

The updated documents are available on the Vale’s website at whitehorsedc.gov.uk/botleyspd 

After consultation they will be considered by the council’s scrutiny committee and then by the cabinet.