Readers have come forward with different ideas for Templars Square shopping centre as the latest proposals move forward.

One resident was keen to see supermarkets and pharmacists at the new centre and shops selling budget clothing, not designer clothes.

Others were concerned that the Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes in the area would make the new centre harder to access.

Proposals to demolish a car park at Templars Square shopping centre and replace it with a more modern ‘mixed development’ were recommended to be approved by Oxford City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

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Councillors backed the plans unanimously at the meeting.

The plans are part of a larger scheme to redevelop the whole of the ‘mid 20th century’ style shopping centre, which have been discussed for years.

Delays to the redevelopment have happened partly because of Covid, and now planning chiefs are being asked to consider them again after a time limit to carry out the works ran out.

Since permission for the work was granted in 2017, the city council has changed its planning rules, and is now trying to encourage more people to take up cycling and walking instead of driving everywhere.

City councillors on the planning committee were asked to consider whether they thought the plans for Cowley centre, agreed before these changes, met with the new rules.

The developer, a company called New River, has plans to build new cycle lanes on Between Towns Road, as well as a new bus stop with a live display of buses.

The current plans would see a multi-storey car park connected to the shopping centre demolished and replaced with 72 flats and 46 car parking spaces.

A total of 424 parking spaces would be lost if the plans go ahead, and most of the new flats would be ‘car-free’.

JASON HARRIS: “No common sense, more shops in Oxford that are to much hassle to visit.

“Amazon are like ££££ putting in flats without parking will just add more cars onto the already busy streets.”

GIORGOS KOUTSOGIANNIS: “Not even one parking per flat so the car free flats will have on the contract that the one that rents it has no car ? prepare for traffic nightmare there.”

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DEBBIE MARRIOTT: “It should be renamed Oxford University council - that’s all that is ever built. You have to wonder how much of it will be social housing very little I suspect.”

MEZZA MEZ: “Car free - just like Oxford University and Oxford Brookes Poly students sign contracts to not bring vehicles into the city. The council are a joke.

“It’s also pushing shoppers out of the city to easier and better places to shop.”

MELANIE PARSONS: And this is why LTNs have been introduced, to reduce footfall to Cowley Centre, so the council can knock it down and turn it all into flats, so all the cyclists can live there!”

LORRAINE GREEN: “Who is going to be able to get to this place when Oxford county council are blocking off all the roads with LTNs?”

KENNETH BELCHER: “It seems Oxford is dying slowly as we watch.”

ALISON SCOTT: “It’s too much hassle for me to whiz into Cowley Centre on my way home now with all the LTNs - I haven’t been in there for months.”

HEATHER TRAVIS: “Really why on Earth they want to demolished the shopping centre down. No way. What’s wrong with those people. This is not right.”

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ALAN BINGHAM: “Who is going to fill all the empty shops?”

IAN EVANS: “So far as I can tell from the comments this is a bad idea because it places too much emphasis on retail and not enough on housing.

“It doesn’t place any emphasis on retail and is all about just providing more housing, it will lead to more cars on the road.”

TERRI PEARCE: “How about spending all that money on social care instead?Who actually cares what the building looks like?? It is social care and social housing we need, not some fancy brickwork!”

BUFFY MCCLELLAND: “I completely disagree with making the Cowley centre a ‘shopping and hotel destination’ which I understand is the main aim. The local people need shops which are useful - food supermarkets, pharmacists, budget clothes not fancy designer wear, and shoe shops.”