BLUEPRINT plans for the shopping redevelopment in Botley have been halted after questions were raised over its legality.

Vale of White Horse District Council deferred its decision on whether to approve a framework for the future of West Way after campaigners sent a letter to the council saying it would be unlawful.

The missive said that if the council was to pass the supplementary planning document [SPD] – the blueprint plans for the development – it would allow the community to raise a legal challenge.

The cabinet decided to defer the decision until the next meeting so that officers could consider the concerns raised.

Chairman of West Way Community Concern, Chris Church, said they were looking for more clarity on the proposals.

He added: “It’s good that the council will go away now and look closer at the plans.”

Group member Dr Mary Gill said it was good news for residents.

The Botley resident added: “It means the council will look at our concerns. Hopefully they will come back with something that is lawful and more appropriate for the development.”

One concern was that the SPD is not based on an existing local plan. Dr Gill referred to an emerging local plan for 2031 and challenged the proposals, saying that they could not formulate blueprints for the development on a local plan that did not exist.

More alternatives for the West Way site needed to be established, such as the scale and size of the development, she added.

More than 300 responses were received as part of a consultation over the planning guidelines, with Historic England, Oxford Preservation Trust and Cumnor Parish Council among those voicing concerns.

Developers Mace and Doric had a £100m scheme for the area thrown out by Vale of White Horse District Council’s planning committee last year.

Since then Mace has taken on the project alone and will now use the guidance to produce new plans for the site at the end of year.

Deputy leader of the district council Roger Cox said the cabinet did not necessarily accept that there were legal issues with the plans, but because of the letter it thought it would be best to defer the decision until its next meeting.