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Sheltered housing residents in Botley fight threat from West Way development
ELDERLY residents who could be forced out of their homes to make way for a £100m development have vowed to fight the plans.
Field House in West Way, Botley, would be demolished if Doric Properties’ proposals for a new shopping centre, cinema, gym and student rooms are approved.
But those living at the sheltered housing site, which is home to 61 people, say they are determined to oppose the plan, which was submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council last month.
Peter Coles, 77, has lived at Field House for 10 years.
He said: “I want to stay here, I’ve never been so happy in all my life.
“This place is the best thing that ever happened to me. We have got to try to fight this as much as we can.”
And 88-year-old Elsie Hinkes said: “I don’t want to be turfed out of my lovely home here.
“For an old person who has lived through the austerities of the war, the idea of someone wanting to pull down a 25-year-old building seems wrong.
“I think it would be diabolical to even consider.”
Sovereign Housing, which manages the accommodation, said it also intends to object to the development.
Spokesman Roy Probert said: “It is clear that these plans are far from a ‘done deal’ and we intend to appeal against them.”
He said it was eager to work with all parties and added: “For this reason, we are looking for clarity from Doric on how it is looking to mitigate any impact the plans might have on our residents.
“We are keeping the residents of Field House informed of our position and are having regular meetings with them as a group and individually to listen to their concerns and wishes.”
Doric’s co-director Simon Hillcox said it was updating residents via a monthly newsletter and that it hoped to have a “finalised solution in the near future” about the future of Field House.
Preliminary plans revealed last year show a cinema, shops, supermarket, gym, pedestrianised piazza and 525 student rooms to be built on the site of the current West Way centre and Elms Parade block of flats.
A six-week public consultation on the proposal will start when the plans are published.
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