West Way Community Concern


Doric appeal 18Dec  

The notice was posted in the Oxford Times today see link:


This was followed by a statement from the Vale in which it said the Council would “continue to push for a solution which is acceptable to the Planning Committee, local residents and the land owners.”

Read the full statement here: http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/news/2014/2014-12/west-way-appeal-submitted

We are getting advice now, we will be engaging with the process and will let everyone know what they can do as soon as we have confirmation that the appeal has been accepted.

Planning Committee reject application unanimously 13-0 

See details on Oxford Mail blog here

Official notification with reasons for rejection here

 Philip Pullman, Baroness Deech among 20 signatories to letter to the Vale

Visual impact statement sent to Councillors

 Read our final objection

coverage of Stand Up for Botley, interviews with residents and speeches by Nicola Blackwood MP and Chris Church of WWCC


946 petition signatures in 10 days! Thank you!

We presented the petition at the 22nd October planning committee meeting. We hope to have made an impact by showing continued widespread objections to this scheme. Read the presentation speech given by Caroline Potter.

In case you missed it, here is the latest on our Freedom of Information request for details of the meetings around the decision to appoint Doric as the developer. Artice from 6th Oct, Oxford Mail: Council forced to reveal details of development

We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to over 750 people
who came to Stand up for Botley on Saturday 11th October

It was a fantastic community event and really helped to show the full impact of the proposed development – just how long and high it would be. 

The event was such a success thanks to all the volunteers who turned up and who helped us plan and promote the event – delivering leaflets, inflating balloons, putting up posters, attending coffee mornings and spreading the word at their clubs and organisations and those on the day who helped to marshall, to get those balloons organised, created banners and came along with enthusiasm and passion!


There are more photos on our Gallery page.



The deadline for all comments was 13th October but you can still read all the submissions via the Vale website  (if this link fails go to http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ and search for P13/V2733/FU

Or go to our Resources page to read the WWCC comments along with those from many officials and experts including Nicola Blackwood, Mp and Oxford City Council.


What’s next?

The Planning Committee meeting has been delayed to 3rd December, and will be held at the Guildhall in Abingdon.

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;


  • 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.

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.  Visit the Resources page, to read our reports and objections including the Botley Character Assessment and the Elms Parade Heritage Statement.  Display our new poster, pick one up from the shop or download and print here. Take a look at our

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.
  • 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.



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