West Way Community Concern

Vale SPD consultation

Page updated 13th Feb 2016

Information related to the Vale of White Horse District Council consultation on the Botley Central Area Supplementary Planning Document

Cabinet agreed to adopt the Supplementary Planning Document at its meeting on 18th January 2016.
Councillor Mike Murray said that this SPD was necessary because:
The fact that the development was rejected last year means that the local plan needs more beef’, and ‘Regeneration is necessary to promote economic growth’.

Links to Final documentAdoption statement

New – Residents of Botley have written to the Secretary of State, setting out their concerns about the SPD, and asking him to consider calling it in for review. Read the letter here. Annex 2 to the letter here.

Vale’s SPD site: click here.

Read media coverage about the development on our newsroom page.

The supplementary planning document was considered at the following meetings:

  • Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 14 January 2016
  • Cabinet on Monday 18 January 2016 – minutes of meeting are here

Representations were made by members of WWCC at both these meetings. Councillor Debby Hallett also wrote to Cabinet members saying:

‘Clearly there are risks to the Vale in taking a decision to adopt this policy document today. The Botley community have shown they are ready to consider legal intervention, as they have done already. That seems a large and potentially costly risk to take for an SPD of little value. 
It’s unclear to me what Cabinet views as the specific advantages to proceeding with this SPD. It DOES seem clear that the risks are real and I’ve seen no evidence of mitigation. 
I still urge you to take the more responsible decision to abandon it in the interests of what’s best for Vale. Let Mace move forward with their planning application in the next few days and determine it based on our extant saved local plan policies.’



The Vale’s SPD is available on their website. Click here to view it. Consultation on this SPD closed on 18th December.

WWCC comments on the amended SPD are here: WWCC comments on the amended SPD; Annex 1 Letter to Vale of White HorseAnnex 2 WWCC comment on Evidence Base report Oct 2015Annex 3 WWCC Analysis of SPD responses

See letter from WWCC to members of the Cabinet here and letter to all Councillors here.

WWCC’s response to the first draft of the SPD, Annex 1, Annex 2

The Vale say:

Following a consultation we held in August and September 2015, we have amended the document to clarify what it’s for and how it’s within the scope of our existing Local Plan.

“We want you to have a chance to comment on the amended draft document as well as the Sustainability Appraisal, which identifies the social, economic and environmental impact of a potential redevelopment of the area.

“Give us your views

“You can now send us your comments on the amended draft SPD and the Sustainability Appraisal – the deadline is 5pm on 18 December.”

The Vale have provided an on-line questionnaire – click here. A word document of the questionnaire is available here. The questionnaire, with cross-references to the questions in the previous consultation is available here . Some guidance is available here.

On Friday, 30 October 2015, the Vale Cabinet decided to defer the decision on the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), while they considereded the lawfulness of the document.

Minutes of Cabinet meeting, 30 October 2015, are here .

The SPD was considered by the Vale Scrutiny Committee on 22nd October. Read more about the recommendations here.

Papers for the Vale Scrutiny Committee (22nd October) are available here (downloaded version)

Comparison between Scrutiny Committee paper and previous draft of SPD is here (warning – very big file)

More information, and links to all the supporting documents, including the Sustainability Appraisal and a marked up copy showing the changes are available on their website here.

(Downloaded documents are available here: Amended SPD, Marked up copy, Sustainability Appraisal, Questionnaire.)

The Vale have also published the documents which form the evidence base, or background information, to the SPD. WWCC had sight of some of these documents just before the last consultation closed, and responded. See our response here.


WWCC documents

WWCC comments on the amended SPD; Annex 1 Letter to Vale of White HorseAnnex 2 WWCC comment on Evidence Base report Oct 2015Annex 3 WWCC Analysis of SPD responses

Letter from WWCC to members of Cabinet 22 Oct 2015; letter to all Councillors 9 Nov 2015

Letter from Blake Lapthorne to Vale 29 Oct 2015

All comments from the consultation on the SPD are available for view on the Vale’s website. Click here

WWCC’s response to the SPD, Annex 1, Annex 2

WWCC’s response to the Evidence Base Report for the SPD

Vale documents

Botley Centre Draft Supplementary Planning Document

Sustainability Appraisal Report

Evidence base report (9MB); Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report ( released 24th Sept)

The Planning Documents are available on the Vale’s SPD site: click here. Paper copy is also available in our shop at 5 Elms Parade.

The consultation closed at 4.30pm on 25 September 2015.  

The Vale have published a guidance document, which can be found here

Presentations from Public Meeting 16th Sept 2015

Guidance and letter templates

We have prepared a couple of letter templates with possible wording for letters, which you may wish to use to assist in preparing your own letter.

Once you are ready to submit comments, by 25th September, there is an option to make a PDF of your answers when you submit them and we would encourage you to do this to keep your own record. If you would also be happy to send them to us then we would really appreciate the opportunity to get an overall sense of the comments that are being submitted. Currently, unlike previously with the Doric application, the public cannot see what others are saying in their comments until the Vale publishes a full report after the end of the consultation. We are protesting about this and asking for the Vale to be more open in this process to help restore faith in the Council. We’ll keep you posted.

WWCC public meeting, Wednesday 16th September, 7pm, SS Peter and Paul Church West Way

Poster ; leaflet

Vale consultation

Vale’s response to questions asked by WWCC following the consultation events:

Read the response here

The Vale held two consultations at Unit 24, West Way Shopping Centre, Chapel Way (adjacent to Cooperative Travel), Botley on the 3rd and 5th September. The posters from these sessions are still on view in the window.

WWCC workshop and suggested questions

WWCC held a workshop with just over 25 supporters last week and came up with some questions that you might want to ask the Vale’s representatives at these exhibition events. The questions cover some of the key issues in the SPD and can be downloaded from our website here.  In the workshop we also went through the positives, negatives and issues in the SPD, how to comment, what is missing and other points. You can read the full notes on our website here. 

Links to Vale Supplementary Planning Document

Botley Centre Draft Supplementary Planning Document

Sustainability Appraisal Report

SPD Response form (Downloaded version) – you can also fill this in on-line via the Vale’s SPD website

Links to Vale SPD website and SPD response form

The Vale have released some information on meetings held during the preparation of the SPD. These can be found on our Freedom of Information page.

Initial reaction from WWCC

‘We are encouraged that this draft document has used the key points from our own vision for our community, but this is a missed opportunity to ensure that this vision is delivered.

Some of the uses suggested are inappropriate and not about meeting local needs and aspirations.

As it stands, this does not provide adequate guidance to ensure that the development is of the highest quality.’

Vale’s exhibition events

The Vale held two exhibition events at Unit 24, West Way Shopping Centre, Chapel Way (adjacent to Cooperative Travel), Botley on the following dates:

  • 3 September, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
  • 5 September, 10.00am – Midday.

WWCC correspondence concerning the consultation

WWCC wrote to Matthew Barber (leader of the Council) on 19th March; read the letter here. Mace had written to the Vale giving assurances that they did not intend to include Elms Parade, Field House or the Vicarage in their development; read the letter here.
BDP held their first stakeholder meeting on 4th June, and the second on 28th July to which representatives of WWCC and local elected councillors were invited. This first meeting raised some doubts about the process, and WWCC wrote to the planning officer setting out these concerns, read the letter here.
Following the meeting on 28th July WWCC wrote again to the Vale to ask for clarification and for scenarios arising from our survey results to be taken  into account. You can read our letter here. The Vale’ response is here.

Vale Planning Documents

Vale District Council update on Supplementary Planning Document, 1st July

Vale of White Horse District Council Existing Local Plan 2011   The Vale’s web site containing all the documents relating to the Local Plan

Documents relevant to Botley:

Chapter 3 – Local Plan Strategy

Chapter 8 – Housing , see policy H10 (page 138) and policy H18 (page 150)

Chapter 10 – Leisure

Chapter 11 – Economy

Chapter 12 – Shopping , see policy S1 (page 254) and policy S12 (page 267)

Chapter 13 – Tourism

Proposals Map – defines the area of Botley Local Centre

Links to Design Guide; Vale website; Design Guide (this is a large file so may take a few moments to download)

National Planning Policy Framework

Vale of White Horse documents: Local Plan document reference table

Other links

Click here for the Vale’s SPD web page; here for the Vale’s Local Plan page. See also our Resources page, which contains links to relevant Vale documents and information prepared by WWCC.