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Residents in support of Waitrose's Botley Road supermarket plans
A WAITROSE plan for West Oxford should be approved, residents have told planners, as final details are submitted for a decision on the proposals.
A plan that would demolish the former MFI and Halfords in Botley Road have been submitted to Oxford City Council.
The multi-million pound development would bring 160 jobs, and 11 residents have already written in support, with one outright opponent to the plan.
Earl Street resident Mary Elliston wrote: “This is a fantastic proposal – we are so close to town yet there is so little on Botley Road “This will really boost the area, creating jobs and regenerating a run-down industrial site.
“This side of Oxford is lacking a decent supermarket.”
Lamarsh Road resident Doug Nevill said: “This is exactly what West Oxford needs, a quality supermarket of a decent size. An additional benefit will see the replacement of an awful building with one which is far more attractive.”
Waitrose said the store – with a sales area of 2,300sqm and 148 parking spaces – would provide a much-needed supermarket for West Oxford.
Its application says: “There is a distinct qualitative deficiency in main food shopping provision to the north and west of the city centre.”
Weekdays from 4-6pm would be busiest, when 403 vehicle trips would be made, it estimates.
However, Alexandra Road resident Vicky Hirsch said: “I think it is a short-sighted idea to situate a large grocery store on the main trunk route into Oxford from the west, which is already subject to bad traffic jams and delays in both directions.
“I think it will further isolate Botley from West Oxford and be detrimental to the sense of community in the area.”
St Paul’s Crescent resident Jo Johnson said: “The concern I have is both the access to the store and what impact this development will have on traffic on the Botley Road.
“The Botley Road is a very busy and congested route. Unless there is another route planned to get to the site, it will be very difficult getting to the shop through the busy traffic.”
A public exhibition held in November was attended by 200 people and 93 per cent of the feedback backed the plans, Waitrose said.
Spokesman James Armstrong said: “It has been incredibly encouraging that the majority of those people who attended our exhibition share our confidence that a Waitrose on Botley Road can make a positive contribution to the area.”
The council aims to make a decision on the proposals by March 11.
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