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COMMENT: Good news, but what about the Westgate plans?
9:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
THE mind begins to boggle at the potential regeneration of the Blackbird Leys’ shopping precinct.
The indications are that the Blackbird Leys parade will form a central plank of the overall regeneration plans, with architects Alan Baxter and Associates onboard to oversee certain design aspects.
Without doing down the individual businesses, the physical buildings themselves are long past their sell-by date. And smartening up the area would lead to a natural improvement in the sense of pride around the parade.
It comes hard on the heels of the unveiling of a mammoth scheme to redevelop Botley’s shopping centre, so we are facing a potentially major change to two retail areas on the city fringes.
These investments are broadly welcomed, but they prompt the question: What is happening to Westgate?
Of course it is a hugely more complex and expensive development than either Blackbird Leys or Botley but every project – whether it be the rebirth of Bicester, Didcot’s Orchard Centre, Botley and Blackbird Leys – just shines a torch on the seemingly interminable wait for physical progress on the sore that is the central city’s retail anchor.