West Way Community Concern

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*** FINAL PLANS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED – DEADLINE 29TH SEPTEMBER ***

The revised plans are in! You can find them on the Vale website – click on the link below – or view on paper in the WWCC HQ at 5 Elms Parade.

You can object or reconfirm your opposition to the proposals before 29th September in one of the following ways:

  • via the Vale website  (if this link fails go to http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ and search for P13/V2733/FUL
  • via email to registration@southandvale.gov.uk
  • or in a letter to Mr Stuart Walker, Vale of White Horse District Council, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, OX10 8ED, quoting reference P13/V2733/FUL.

If you haven’t already commented you can do so now.

We have a new simple letter template you can use or refer to, which can be found on the Resources page along with further guidance and materials.

So what has changed? …

The new plan includes the following changes:

Food store and hotel

  • The food-store has reduced in size [from 8,300 sq m to 8,100 sq m],
  • The top floor of the hotel has been removed and the length reduced by 12.5m [but with the same number of rooms];

Student Residences

  • The student levels have been redesigned, the proportion of studios for mature and post-graduate students has increased to 50% [but still 500+ rooms];

 Age Restricted Accommodation and vicarage 

  • Number of replacement age-restricted units increased from 33 to 50. Some of these are now on ground level in the space originally allocated for the replacement vicarage for St Peter and St Paul’s church;
  • A new Vicarage will not be provided on the application site.

St Peter and St Paul’s Church

  • Additional planting screen between the Garden of Remembrance and the new Piazza  and there will be no pedestrian access stair from the piazza level;
  • Cinema/library block has been moved further away from the west end of the church;

Piazza

  • The main steps now incorporate a pedestrian ramp and wheeling ramp for cycles;

Community Hall, Cinema, Library, Crèche and Baptist Church

  • The Community Hall has been relocated from the west end of the site to a more prominent location at first floor on Westminster Way,
  • Cinema reduced in height by 1m;

Design changes

  • The surface finishes on the elevations have changed;

Other changes

  • The area identified on the earlier plans as a medical centre is now further retail space;
  • Start-up business space introduced above shops;
  • The phasing of the demolition and construction has been changed

 

Click on the picture below to watch our video recapping the evolution of the plans:

West Way Video

West Way timeline link image

 

 

West Way Whistle – if you’ve not received a copy of our latest paper newsletter, download a copy here.

Design Panel: Doric’s latest PR email contains misinformation about the Design Review Panel. The panel  raised a number of questions, criticisms and recommendations including questioning the size of the supermarket, and stating   “The overall architectural quality is not yet good enough for this prominent location and needs to be reassessed” Read the report on the Vale site here. Debby Hallett has also complained that the email wrongly presents her as supportive of the scheme.

What else can you do?

  •  Send a letter on behalf of your road – we hope that you can send a letter to councillor signed by people from your road. We’d like to show that in every street and road in this area there are people opposed to the Doric plans.  More details on the Help Save West Way page.
  • Write to the District Councillors including the Planning Committee expressing your ideas and concerns for the area
  • Join our mailing list (see form below) to keep up-to-date on the latest developments
  • Come along to our HQ shop at 5 Elms Parade, and visit our stall at the Botley Big Fete on Saturday 20th September

 

We are still adding more resources and information to this website so check back regularly:

 We have posted the fullWWCCC comments on the EIA plus chapater by chapter summaries on the Resources page.

Click here to read all the comments on the application on the Vale site 

Or add your comment if you’ve not done so already.

Doric’s Environmental Statement is over 400 pages long, with another 1000 pages of appendices. A good starting point is the non-technical summary (fairly easy to navigate at a mere 53 pages!), the summary is the 3rd document on the page: “NTS Vol III” –  click here to access  the page and download the document. A hard copy of Doric’s Environmental Statement and all of the appendices is available in the WWCC shop, 5 Elms Parade.

 

One of the items in Doric’s Environmental Statement is a visual impact assessment. See here for a selection of photos showing views of the development from around Botley, with the current views at the same scale for comparison, and our animations showing the change in motion.

 

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who submitted their comments by June on the West Way plans – more than 900 comments were submitted! As well as the hundreds of local residents, organizational objections have been submitted by Cumnor Parish Council, North Hinksey Parish Council, St Peter & St Paul Church, the Oxford Diocese, Oxford City Council, Oxford Preservation Trust, Sovereign Housing, Nicola Blackwood MP and West Way Community Concern.   Read West Way Community Concern’s objection and supporting documents on our Resources page.

You now have until Monday 29th September to restate your position with regard to the new plans.

Download our new poster here.

Join our mailing list
We send out regular newsletter updates about the campaign with the latest news, information and actions. If you don’t already receive this e-newsletter simply complete your details below and submit. [Note: your details may appear briefly on the webpage you see after you hit submit but only for your view, we never make your personal details public]. You can find a sample newsletter here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Does West Way Community Concern want to see the shops developed?
A: Yes, we absolutely do. Like 93% of people who responded to our survey in April 2013, we think it’s time for some major improvements to our local shopping area. The 1960s buildings have not been maintained well over the years, and many people find them dull or gloomy in design. However like our survey respondents we take a moderate view on development: 70% wanted development that maintained some aspects of the current shopping experience, while only 23% conveyed a desire for full-scale demolition and redevelopment (the Doric option). These results were collected in April 2013, when Doric’s plans were still at concept stage, and from the substantial feedback that we have received from the community since September we think that even fewer people now actively support Doric’s proposals.

Q: Where can I find out more about all this?
A: Pop in to our HQ at 5 Elms Parade, next to the Post Office, to see the full sized plans. Come to our Public Meeting at St. Peter & St. Paul Church, 7pm on Thurs 27th February to hear more about the grounds for planning from experts in the various fields, find out what aspects WWCC will be objecting and get advice and help on putting in your own objection. Visit the How to Object page where we will be adding more resources over the next few weeks. Read our leaflet which is being delivered door to door in the local area, you can also download the leaflet here. Display our new poster, pick one up from the shop or download and print here. Take a look at our Resources page, we’ve just added the Elms Parade Heritage Statement and will be adding the Botley Character Assessment Report very soon.

Q: What else will WWCC be doing?

  • Obtain expert advice from planning consultants on what are the strongest grounds for objection to the scheme (we expect there will be several; these plans represent a dramatic change for the area and run counter to various established planning principles).
  • Draw up and submit a detailed set of planning objections based on expert advice
  • Create a summary of the plans, with the help of volunteer expertise, so that the community can see exactly what is being proposed.
  • Hold a public meeting: Thurs Feb 27th, 7pm at St Peter & St Paul Church
  • Continue to consult with Vale District Council at regular meetings, to ensure that the community’s voice (as expressed through the petition and through responses to consultation exercises) is heard.
  • Consult with Nicola Blackwood, MP
  • Lobby councillors

Q. What can I do?
A. Make a planning objection. The more objections are received, on clear planning grounds, the greater our chances of getting these plans thrown out or scaled back to an appropriate size. See our guide for how to do it.
Also please continue to write to local councillors, local press, and Nicola Blackwood MP.

KeepCalm

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