West Way Community Concern

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*** NEWSFLASH *** over 700 objections submitted! ***

View comments here.

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who submitted their comments on the West Way plans – more than 700 of you! 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 and West Way Community Concern.   Read West Way Community Concern’s objection and supporting documents on our Resources page.

While you are in the habit of objecting, now is also a key time to object to the Vale Local Plan which is open for consultation until Friday, 4th April. The previous and new local plan both refer to Botley as a local service centre, however the supporting text is clearly pointing to a much bigger role for Botley to meet wider needs. We need to object to this so that the grounds for objecting to the scale of the Doric plans are not undermined. If the current West Way application is refused, it will be primarily on the grounds that it is contrary to local plan policy. If the new local plan goes unchallenged, the grounds for objecting to a resubmission would be weaker.
We have a couple of sample objection letters you might want to pick text from to use:
Remember you can also attach your objection to the West Way plans as back up.

**Submit your objection to the Local Plan here**

Or email your objection to:  planning.policy@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

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Thank you to everyone who came to the Public Meeting on Feb 27th. The following resources have now been added to the Resources page:

  • The Character Assessment of Botley, with a form to send in your feedback
  • A template letter to use and adapt for your objections
  • Presentations from the meeting

Also, if you are wondering what the alternatives might be, take a look at an alternative vision for the future of Botley, how it might be if we had a different plan for development – read the Botley 2020 article.

Q. Have the plans changed since Doric’s last exhibition?
A. Not much. There have been some design improvements, and some changes to the list of proposed features. However, the fundamental concerns over scale, character and impact on our community and environment have not been addressed.

Q. What happens now?
A. A consultation period will now begin, the final date for comments and objections is Thurs March 27th.

Q. How do I object?
A. We have begun a a guide on ‘how to object’ and will be adding to it with expert advice from consultants on planning, urban design, heritage, transport and other issues. We will provide you will some examples of material planning grounds for objections that you might want to include, depending on what you are concerned about (e.g. privacy, light, noise, parking, environment, etc.)

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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