West Way Community Concern


Page updated 14th May 2021

New – 14 May

Planning appeal decision – The Inspector has concluded his assessment on the appeal against the planning refusal for the additional storey on residential block A. His decision is that the appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted. The full documents are available here: Appeal Decision; Costs Decision. We summarise the key points below.

Planning appeal decision

The Inspector considered the three reasons for refusal: height of building, potential highway safety problems arising from the suggested shortfall of car parking, and lack of affordable housing. He concluded that:

  • The height would lead to an adverse impact, but this would be limited due to the nature of some of the context and views being localised.
  • He acknowledged the concerns about the existing problems arising from commuter parking, and the concerns expressed by local residents, but considered that this situation could be managed by suitable measures to restrict the use of on street parking.
  • Whilst the affordable housing payment would not meet the target in the policy, some provision would be made, which would be a notable benefit.
  • The additional housing delivery would have substantial economic benefits.
  • Whilst there is conflict with Local Plan Policy in terms of the building height, taking into consideration the Development Plan as a whole and the Framework, in overall balance the merits of the development outweigh the conflict with the Development Plan policy.

The planning permission includes a number of conditions, which are effectively the same as in the previous permission.

Costs decision

Botley Development Company also requested that costs should be awarded against the Vale District Council. The planning committee made a decision based on the characteristics of the site and the proposal. They applied the criteria in the Development Plan policies and came to a view. The Inspector conclude that the committee were entitled to come to their view. The Council had not acted unreasonably, and the applicant had not been put to wasted time and expense in pursuing the appeal. Therefore, an award of costs is not justified.

11 Feb Botley Development Company (BDC) have appealed to the Secretary of State against Vale of White Horse District Council’s decision (on 2nd December last year) to refuse the planning application to increase the size of Block A of the development. The appeal will be determined by the Planning Inspectorate on the basis of written representations. The case made by BDC against the decision can be seen here.

All the comments made during the consultation last year will be forwarded to the Inspector. There is no need to do anything further to confirm your objection, but any additional comments can be submitted via the Inspectorate website. The appeal reference is APP/V3120/W/20/3265269.

(3 Dec) On 2nd December, the Vale District Council planning committee voted to REFUSE planning permission for the increased size in Block A. After representations by WWCC, one local resident of West Way, and Councillor Debby Hallett, and a short discussion among the committee, a vote was taken. Six members voted to refuse,  and three abstained.  Reasons for refusal were the height and massing of the building and the lack of affordable housing provision.

(22 Oct) The Vale District Council have approved that there will be a free parking period at the West Way Centre from 18.00 till midnight, Monday – Sunday.

Our view is that the obligation under the existing planning consent, to pay £2m in lieu of providing affordable housing, must be met in full. Any loss of profit from the development as a result in increased costs or change in market conditions are the developer’s risk. See our full comment here.

(23 Sept) Updates 

To ask questions or raise concerns about how the centre works, e.g. parking, pedestrian areas, you can email the Facilities Manager for the centre – Lisa Himpson of Savills – who is regularly on site and can be contacted at Lisa.Himpson@Savills.com.

P20/V2134/NM Botley West Way car parking hours amendment. Application for a non-material minor-amendment to change the car park hours at Botley West Way. The developers have stated this is following concerns raised by local residents that car parking in the evenings should be free for people to use. The developers also feel that this would help stimulate the evening economy. The above application therefore proposes free parking from 6pm until midnight. As the site will offer 2 hours free parking it would be possible with the proposed changes for customers to park for free from 6pm until 2am.

Co-op delivery lorries turning around in the bottom of Arthray Road at the junction with Westminster Way. The servicing plan approved in 2019 has vehicles servicing block B (Co-op and Premier Inn) to enter the site from West Way, travel through Church Way to Arthray Road, and turn left from Arthray Road into Westminster Way (northbound). They were supposed to have very restrictive time slots and a booking system. If lorries turn from West Way into Westminster Way (southbound) by mistake, they cannot continue past Arthray Road, because of the weight restriction, and have nowhere else to turn round other than the junction with Arthray Road. Hopefully, delivery drivers will become familiar with the service routes and problems such as these will go away.

New Church Way pedestrianised area. The 10am – 4pm closure to traffic was part of the planning permission. The Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras which serve the car-parks will identify vehicles driving through the centre. The car-park company may then issue a fine.

See also NHPC page

(28th Aug) Update from Community Liaison Group August 2020 – Minutes – West Way Square CLG – August 2020

(4th Aug) WWCC comment on additional documents for P20/V0921/FUL

(3 June) WWCC objection to increase in height of Block A

P20/V0921/FUL “Demolition and redevelopment of existing buildings for new commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1-A5 and B1a) at ground floor level, with development above comprising 150 residential dwellings (C3). Associated car parking and landscaping are also proposed.”

(28th April) Planning applications

P20/V0877/DIS Discharge of condition 20 – kitchen extract systems. Due to the unit being proposed as a Tesco Express store, to operate with fresh and frozen food will require plant to operate mechanically as well as air temperature controls. This application considers the noise impact on the residential properties. Approved 14th May 2020

P20/V1007/FUL The construction of a flow forge plant cage/compound and the installation of air conditioning/refrigeration plant. (Iceland unit). End Consultation Period  20th May 2020; Target Decision Date 15th June 2020

P20/V0959/A Fascia and projecting signs to front elevation and loading bay sign to side elevation (Iceland unit). End Consultation Period 16th May 2020; Target Decision Date 15th June 2020

(18th April) Planning applications

P20/V0892/DIS Discharge of condition 30 (supplementary travel plan) Approved 12th May 2020

P20/V0744/A Chancellors Estate Agents : 4 no. fascias with trough lights over, and 2 no. projecting signs – Target decision date 1st July

(8th April) Planning application from Mace

Installation of three fascia signs. P20/V0765/A  : 7.5 metre high signs naming the student accommodation blocks ‘Ruskin’ and ‘Tolkein’ – Target decision date 25th May

(30 March) Two planning applications from Tesco:

Proposal to install a new ATM P20/V0718/FUL  Approved 12th May

Proposed new 1x Fascia Sign, 1x Projecting Sign, and 9x Vinyl Graphic P20/V0716/A Approved 4th May

Botley Development Company update exhibition

Botley Development Company (Mace) held a public exhibition on Thursday 5th March in the Seacourt Hall.

Panels from the exhibition are available here

Any questions about the exhibition can be addressed to huw@spbroadway.com, or 020 7152 4030.

Phase 2 – proposed changes to residential block A

Proposed changes to the residential Block A were revealed at the exhibtion on 5th March. This is the block that will be on the corner where Co-op and Tesco are now. Under the approved plans it is to be 8 storeys high and contain 120 flats. Mace now propose to add an additional storey and 30 extra flats. A new planning application is expected to be submitted in mid-March.

The intention is to increase the height of the building by 1.5m. The additional storey has been accommodated without a greater increase in height by reducing the ceiling heights in all of the apartments. We understand that there will be more one-bedroom apartments replacing larger ones.

There will be no increase in car parking provision. Mace says that the additional flats will be ‘car-free’ requiring residents to sign a pledge not to bring cars to the site.

Other questions which will need to be asked:

  • Will they now include affordable housing, which is much needed around this area?
  • Where will additional cycle storage and refuse stores be located?
  • What will be the visual impact and the impact on light and privacy to neighbouring properties?

We will be providing guidance in due course as to how you can submit your comments on the development to the Vale.

Newsletter March 2020 – Reminder of exhibition 5th March; our view on the proposals

Newsletter February 2020 update – What’s happening now; Notification of public exhibition on plans for Phase 2; Public art

Vale consultation on Statement of Community Involvement – 27 Feb to 9 March

Message from The Vale of White Horse District Council

We are asking for comments on the draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which sets out how we aim to engage with and involve our communities in respect of planning applications and planning policy. We are committed to working in a clear and transparent way and are keen to assist anyone who may wish to get involved in the planning process. 

We previously adopted the SCI in 2016 and this updated document will replace that version. Once adopted we must comply with the new SCI in preparing any plan-making document or when determining a planning application.

The draft SCI is subject to public consultation for a six-week period from Thursday 27 February to 5pm on Thursday 9 April 2020. 

Before completing the survey please visit our website and read through the draft Statement of Community Involvement.”


(21 Jan) Update on car parking from SDC. Put simply: the temporary car park on Arthray Road closes on Mon 20th. Car park behind community centre opens but limited spaces until they open bigger new car park later in the Spring. New charges and number plate recognition starts 27 Jan.

(21 Jan) Application P20/V0042/DIS. Discharge of Condition 30 (Framework Travel Plan), Co-op food-store

Update on planning conditions discharge (see more on all conditions here)

(14 Jan) Application P19/V2497/DIS Discharge of condition 23 – Site security management plan. Approved 16th December 2019
(14 Jan) Application P19/V2425/DIS Discharge of condition 24 – CCTV and ANPR and 28 – Car parking strategy. Approved 18th December 2019
(14 Jan) Application P19/V2339/DIS Discharge of condition 30 – Framework Travel Plan (partial). Approved 19th December 2019

(14 Jan) Application P19/V2320/DIS Discharge of condition 29 – Cycle parking. Approved 16th December 2019

(14 Jan) Application P19/V2482/DIS Discharge of condition 33 – Contaminated Land. Not yet approved (Target Decision Date: 5th December 2019)

AGM 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 26th November.

Annual report August 2018 to July 2019

Items from 2019

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway: It was proposed at the AGM 2018 that WWCC should become a member of the No Expressway Alliance (NEA). Following a poll of members, there is a clear view that we should do so, and we have now joined the NEA. See more about NEA and recent information from them here.

(3rd June) The application to change plans (P17/V3298/FUL) was considered by Planning Committee on 30th May

The committee voted to accept the plans, with a number of conditions, including

Removal of the four parking spaces in Church Way nearest Arthray;

A requirement to submit for approval a cycle parking plan, including means of access to each location, method of storage / type of racks to be used and associated security measures to be employed.

(30 Dec) The formal approval notice for the amendments to the approved plans (planning application ref P17/V3298/FUL) was finally issued. See the decision notice here. Most of the conditions for the former plans which have been discharged will apply to these new plans, and other conditions still need formal approval (notably the landscaping). The condition on lighting is intended to protect Arthray Road houses.

(23rd May) – See WWCC comment on the cycle parking here

(16th May) – New plans submitted by Mace showing proposed cycle parking locations on application P17/V3298/FUL

(13th May) – See WWCC comment on the April proposals for changes to the developments plans here.

For more detail on the history of this application, especially the impact on Arthay Road of the previous proposals and WWCC comments, see our resources page.

(27 April) Construction Environmental Management Plan, Planning Application P18/V1029/DIS

Discharge conditions on application ref. P16/V0246/FUL. See more information and links to applications here.

Discharge applications are not subject to public consultation however it is sometimes necessary for the council to consult professional bodies.  If you wish to comment, this can be done by email to registration@southandvale.gov.uk.

(26 Jan) – The landscale plans are now included with the application for changes to the plans (P17/V3298/FUL). Any comments on the landscaping plans can be submitted via the consultation to P17/V3298/FUL

(22nd Jan) WWCC have submitted an additional comment on P17/V3298/FUL, pointing out the conflict between the proposals for landscaping in this discharge application (P18/V0120/DIS) and the proposed deliveries and servicing proposals in P17/V3298/FUL. See this comment here.

(27th Jan)  Sale of West Way Shopping Centre

The West Way Shopping Centre has now been sold to Botley Development Company (formerly Doric). The price was reduced from £13.8m to £12.4m – see statement from Vale here.

Conditions of the sale agreement were ‘waived’ in order to get the sale through –see more information here.

Mace’s application for temporary change of use for Elms Court and Grant Thornton (P17/V1507/FUL)

Approved at planning committee October 2017, subject to conditions.


Mace’s Community Liaison Group

This group includes our elected representatives (District, County, Parish) and reps from community groups and organisations such as WWCC, the Churches, schools, youth club, Brookes etc.

Draft minutes of the Community Liaison Group on Monday 18th December are here.

Questions and answers from Mace are available here .

Mace’s update newsletter:

Members of the Community Liaison Group (CLG) received a draft by email of Mace’s update leaflet. They now inform us that they do not intend to deliver this to households and businesses. Copies are available in the Botley library. It is available on their consultation website or to download here.


The Local Plan 2031 Part 2: Detailed Policies and Additional Sites – Publication Version Publicity Period

Your final chance to comment – consultation open until Wednesday 22 November 2017

Following the Preferred Options consultation in March 2017 and the gathering of evidence, the Vale District Council are nearly ready to submit their Local Plan 2031 Part 2 for independent examination. They have opened a six week publicity period between Wednesday 11 October and Wednesday 22 November 2017. Read more here.


Revisions to plans for the full development (P16/V0246/FUL)

Mace’s proposed revisions to the development constitute a material amendment, and therefore an S73 application will be required, which will enable public consultation to take place on the revisions.

There are also a number of planning conditions which have to be satisfied before any work can start on site, including a Construction Environmental Management Plan.

Mace’s public exhibition

If you missed Mace’s public exhibition on 13th June the boards are now available on their website.  The exhibition was also reported in the Oxford Times.

News articles

Oxford Mail 4th April: Much-loved independents and supermarket bow out of West Way Shopping Centre as bulldozers move in this summer  Broken promises, supermarket and shops forced to close

Oxford Mail 7th April: Community mourns loss of shops at Botley’s West Way shopping centre as bulldozers prepare to roll

6th April: Oxford Guardian: Campaigners call for clarity over shopping centre plans

Let us know what you think of the new proposals, email us.

Association of Botley Communities

The Association of Botley Communities has been set up to “improve and maintain the social, environmental, and economic wellbeing of Botley”. They held a public launch meeting on Friday Feb. 24th in St Peter & St Paul Church Hall. See more on their facebook page.

County-wide Unitary Authority proposal

Oxfordshire County council has published their proposal for a single, county-wide unitary authority for Oxfordshire. This would disband all six of the current councils (County, Vale of White Horse, South Oxfordshire, Oxford City, Cherwell and West Oxfordshire) and there would be new elections for the new council. You can read about it on the one-oxfordshire web site . The proposals have been formally supported by a unanimous vote at the Vale of White Horse District Council.

Neighbourhood Plans

Cumnor Parish have now commenced work on a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish, which includes Dean Court, Farmoor and Cumnor Hill, as well as Cumnor village. See their website, and their Facebook and @MyCumnor on Twitter for latest news and updates and a message from the Parish Clerk about the process here.

North Hinksey Parish Council have been working for some time on a Neighbourhood Plan for North Hinskey and Botley. See their page here.

Applications submitted

The Vale of White Horse District Council has GRANTED planning permission for the Temporary Change of Use of units in West Way Shopping Centre, to allow for relocation of the Baptist Church, Seacourt Hall and Library. The permission is valid for three years from the date of the permission.  See planning application P16/V3234/FUL.

The parent company for Premier Inns have just lodged a request for a premises licence for the new hotel, to allow sale of alcohol for extended hours and exhibition of films. See notice here. Representations to the Licencing Authority (Vale of White Horse District Council) closed 3rd February 2017.

We have sought clarification of the ‘Stopping up order’ for Church Way and Chapel Way. See Mace’s response here.

The developers of Seacourt Retail Park have submitted an application to combine a number of the proposed units to allow Marks and Spencers Food to operate from the combined unit. See planning application P16/V3227/FUL. Consultation closed on 2nd February 2017. Vale’s Target Decision Date is now 21st April 2017.

Next Steps for WWCC

1  Monitoring the development

We will be working with the Vale development enforcement officers to ensure that all the conditions placed on the developers are complied with. If you become aware of any activity which is against the planning conditions, then you can raise your concerns via the Vale’s website . Planning reference is P16/V0246/FUL. Vale’s planning web-site is here.

More information, including a summary of the planning conditions and S106 payments, can be found on our resources page.

2  Engaging with Mace and their contractors

We are involved in Mace’s Community Liaison Group (CLG), which met on 30th November. See notes and other documents from the meeting on our resources page here.

The CLG includes our elected representatives (District, County, Parish) and reps from community groups and organisations such as WWCC, the Churches, schools, youth club, Brookes etc. Mace will continue to update the community as the works progress. Residents with queries for Mace can contact Matt Browne at matt@spbroadway.com or 0203 405 3460.

Thank you to all who attended our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on 8th November 2016. The papers from the meeting are available here

Affordable housing?

We understand from the Planning Officer that Mace are not proposing any ‘affordable’ housing but instead are proposing that 10% of the flats would be ‘starter homes’ sold at 80% of market value. These ‘starter homes’ would be one bedroom flats. We don’t believe that people in average jobs, or key workers, would be able to afford these prices. If you support the need for affordable housing please include this in your comments, urge the Planning officer to require real affordable housing in the development. You may also want to write to the Vale Councillors about this issue.

Read our West Way Blog

The West Way Blog is a platform for individuals to share their personal views, concerns and suggestions on the future of Botley’s development. Hosted by WWCC, none of the views expressed are the official view or judgement of the WWCC Committee unless explicitly stated. We welcome a wide range of views and comments, for details and if you want to submit a blog post our Blog Policy Document.

See our recent newsletters here

West Way Community Concern’s reports are available on our resources page

A Vision for Botley and West Way

This vision is about what we want to see in Botley in the future. It’s not about what will be built – it’s about HOW we would like it to be and to work.Our vision for Botley is:

We will want to see the new local centre as:

A good place to meet

Good venues and spaces offer inspiration, entertainment, learning, work, play and community activities for all.

 A good place to do business

An easily accessible location with a full range of local services makes Botley the place for smart businesses looking to work with Oxfordshire’s knowledge-based economy, and an attractive alternative to central Oxford.

A good place to shop and eat

Botley offers diverse shopping from the basic to the unique, and includes cafes, restaurants and a market.

A good place to live, grow up and grow old

Along with a good mix of community facilities Botley has homes for people at all stages of their lives and that they can afford.

A safe and attractive place

The centre of Botley is a place where you would be happy to be at any time of day or night. The design is in keeping with local character.

Read more here.

Please share this with your friends.  It may seem optimistic, but we should be aiming to get what w