West Way Community Concern

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Page updated 16th Dec 2021

New – The WWCC Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 13th December, by Zoom.

David Banks and Nick Chaplin, Mace Developments, and Lisa Himpson of Savills told us about plans for phase 2 of the construction, discussed how the centre is operating and managed, and answered questions. Read more here.

WWCC gave a brief report on our activities followed by open discussion. See report here.

23 Nov November newsletter – Latest update on construction phase 2, shops etc, public art and AGM

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.

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Planning permission decision

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.

For more detail on the history of this application and WWCC comments, see our resources page.

WWCC on-going remit

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 . 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). 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