West Way Community Concern


WWCC Public meeting

In our public meeting on Monday 22nd June Caroline Potter presented the results of the recent West Way Development Survey that received 1400 responses. The presentation slides and the full 25 page survey report are available. Chris Church also spoke about the Vision for Botley and West Way that we have developed with the community from our workshops in January and February and the Vision is also available on the website.

We also heard from Mace, BDP and the North Hinksey Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

The West Way Development Survey – report of results June 2015

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who completed our recent survey on your shopping habits and wishes for the future uses of the West Way centre. We had 1400 responses!

The survey was conducted by West Way Community Concern (WWCC) from 17th April to 25th May 2015. It updates and adds to the evidence base from previous surveys of local residents regarding potential development of Botley’s local shopping centre, including Vale of White Horse District Council public consultation in 2012 (210 responses), Doric Properties’ first public exhibition Feb-Mar 2013 (616 responses), and WWCC’s first survey Apr-May 2013 (727 responses).

The report can be downloaded here and results will be presented at a Public Meeting at St Peter and St Paul Church at 7pm on Monday 22nd June, all welcome. Agenda will be posted here shortly.

Previous surveys

Three surveys have been carried out with local people – by Vale of White Horse Council in 2012, and by Doric and West Way Community Concern in early 2013 (links below). Here, Gordon Stokes provides an overview of the earlier surveys. You can read his overview with graphs here.

How satisfied are people with the current centre?

  • People were much more likely to be satisfied than dissatisfied with the current facilities at Botley. Shopping facilities and parking were rated higher than for Seacourt Hall and the Library (VOWH – Q1)
  • West Way is well used with 54% using it for their ‘main grocery shop’. (Doric – Q3)

How much change do people want?

  • 70% felt “shopping at Botley could be improved” (Doric – Q2)
  • 70% wanted “some improvement while maintaining parts of the current development” while 25% wished to see “redevelopment with new and better shops” (WWCC)
  • 60% said that “Elms Parade must stay and be part of any new development” and a further 24% said it “should stay if possible” (WWCC)
  • People want Field House to stay. 48% felt the existing sheltered housing should be maintained, while a further 39% agreed with “If [demolishing it] is to be done then new housing should be built before any demolition to allow people to move easily” (WWCC)

What are the views on different elements of a development?

  • “Units for small retailers” and “community facilities” were the most popular elements for any new development, followed by “parking” (scores over 4 out of 5). (Doric – Q8)
  • From the same question “cinema and restaurants” and “student and residential accommodation” scored low with 2.66 and 1.79 respectively. (Doric – Q8)
  • There was much more support for a supermarket, other shops and restaurants being “about the same as now” (60-70%) rather than “better and bigger” (about 20%) (WWCC)
  • 69% did not like the idea of a cinema;20% thought it was a good idea (WWCC)
  • 62% did “not like the idea of student housing. 4% thought student housing was “a good idea”, while 32% thought “some student housing would be alright”(WWCC)


  • The view that limited, but not major, change is wanted holds true across all surveys
  • There is strong support for maintaining a centre that is similar in function and scale to that which currently exists
  • There is strong opposition to a cinema, student housing, and making changes to Field House and Elms Parade

Notes on the surveys
Vale of White Horse (210 responses – February to April 2012)
Doric (616 responses – March 2013)
West Way Community Concern (727 responses – April 2013)

Were the surveys representative?

    • VOWH and WWCC asked for age and their surveys under-represented younger people. Doric did not record age. Two surveys both under-represented younger people to a very similar degree and implies that young people are ‘hard to reach’ and/ or that younger people tend to not hold strong views on the issues.
    • The age profile for the surveys do closely match the ages of “main shoppers” from the National Travel Survey. In 2010 only 3% of “main shoppers” were aged under 25, while 28% were aged over 65 (in all settlements with less than 250,000 population).
    • However, if all ages not represented held opposite views the weight of opinion would still be towards the status quo or little change. And while younger people are the ‘future’ of Botley, research suggests that as they get older their views will most likely change towards being more in line with current views of the age groups they will become, as their life roles change.

Survey conduct, design and presentational issues

  • The Vale of White Horse survey was designed and conducted by Council officers.
  • The West Way Community Concern are opposed to major change. But the questions were designed to allow a ‘non-leading’ range of answers. Their reporting has been judged to be internally consistent.
  • The Doric survey was carried out by their Public Relations partners, PPS group. The questionnaire and reporting available was not structured for easy quantitative analysis. In addition it had choices for options combining elements which do not fit together (e.g. “student and residential housing”). Doric’s reporting is also open to criticism in terms of statistical robustness – they gained 616 responses but percentages given were of 587 responses, irrespective of whether people did not answer or made double responses. Their media reporting of some results can only be described as misleading; when they said that 61% of people did not choose local shops for their main food shop, they were ignoring those who had not answered the question.
  • VOWH and WWCC have made all attitudinal responses publicly available in a ‘verbatim’ manner. Doric have not.

Full results available:
Vale of White Horse – The quantitative results plus verbatim comments
Doric – At the time of writing this direct link worked but there seemed to be no direct link from their website
West Way Community Concern – The first shows the quantitative data while the second shows the verbatim comments
Survey results in numbers and charts – we had over over 720 survey responses
– the 651 comments (37 page PDF)

More WWCC resources: