Family adamant they won’t part with Elms Parade shops

thisisoxfordshire: Cousins Caroline Kellner, Arthur and Bob Howse, who are the trustees of the Stephen Howse estate Cousins Caroline Kellner, Arthur and Bob Howse, who are the trustees of the Stephen Howse estate

THE family that owns a parade of shops that could be flattened to make way for a £100m redevelopment in Botley say they are determined not to part with the site.

Elms Parade owners the Howse family again told the Oxford Mail yesterday they are determined to oppose any attempt to force them to sell.

They own the 13 shops and seven flats which make up Elms Parade – which is at the heart of the planned £100m redevelopment of the West Way shopping centre.

Developer Doric Properties has submitted a planning application for the scheme to Vale of White Horse District Council.

In their first interview since the plans were announced last year, the three trustees of the Howse family estate said they stand together in their decision.

thisisoxfordshire:

Stephen Howse

Cousins Bob Howse, 81, of Farmoor, Arthur Howse, 76, from Charlbury, and Caroline Kellner, 62, who lives in Northamptonshire, are all grandchildren of Stephen Howse – who built Elms Parade in 1937.

After homes were built in Botley on the neighbouring land, Stephen Howse decided the residents needed local shops and built the parade.

Mrs Kellner said: “It’s so sad, what they want to do. It is very close to all of our hearts, because grandad built it for the community.”

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Arthur Howse said: “It was my playground growing up. I don’t want to see it ruined.”

Across a total of 1,000 acres in Botley and North Hinksey, Stephen Howse, who died in 1941, ran Elms Farm, Seacourt Farm, and Hutchcomb Farm – which supplied fresh milk to most of Oxford.

thisisoxfordshire:

Elms Parade in 1959

Part of Elms Farm is now the site of the 1960s West Way shopping centre. The farmhouse was bought through a compulsory purchase order and demolished in the ’60s to make way for the current Elms Court office blocks and Seacourt Hall – which are also set to be pulled down. His land in Farmoor was also bought through compulsory purchase in the 1950s and flooded to form Farmoor Reservoir.

thisisoxfordshire:

November’s protest when residents ringed the parade and Botley shops

Mrs Kellner said: “The possibility of a compulsory purchase order is something we think about.

“That is the final thing that could happen. It is a concern.”

Arthur Howse added: “We would fight a compulsory purchase order.”

Doric co-director Simon Hillcox said: “Doric will continue to use all reasonable endeavours to negotiate with relevant parties by private treaty wherever possible, with local occupiers encouraged to come back into the revitalised scheme.

“However, the council may decide to use their statutory powers to bring about the regeneration of Botley with new shops, restaurants and community facilities, creating up to 1,000 jobs.”

A public consultation is taking place and residents have until Thursday, March 27, to have their say. A special planning meeting of North Hinksey Parish Council will discuss the proposals on Tuesday, March 25. The Seacourt Hall meeting is set to start at 7.45pm.

Archive: West Way redevelopment

Comments (8)

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9:57am Tue 18 Mar 14

WitneyGreen says...

I always assumed Elms Parade was listed. It's such an interesting and attractive row of buildings. Surely it could be kept and accommodated into the design of the new development if/when it goes ahead.
I always assumed Elms Parade was listed. It's such an interesting and attractive row of buildings. Surely it could be kept and accommodated into the design of the new development if/when it goes ahead. WitneyGreen
  • Score: 12

10:15am Tue 18 Mar 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"Cousins Bob Howse, 81, of Farmoor, Arthur Howse, 76, from Charlbury, and Caroline Kellner, 62, who lives in Northamptonshire....
...."
.........Nice to see they're all still Botley residents, and are regular users of the facilities.........O
h, wait a minute, they're not are they.......
"Cousins Bob Howse, 81, of Farmoor, Arthur Howse, 76, from Charlbury, and Caroline Kellner, 62, who lives in Northamptonshire.... ...." .........Nice to see they're all still Botley residents, and are regular users of the facilities.........O h, wait a minute, they're not are they....... Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -10

12:17pm Tue 18 Mar 14

hatofthecat says...

So if they can't bully the Howse family into selling the parade they will "use their statutory powers to bring about the regeneration of Botley"... just as they did to the farm and built the rancid office blocks & hall that are the very worst bits of the area. A greater indictment of the obscenity and abuse of power the "compulsory purchase" would represent I cannot think of. Doric are only interested in short term profits and chucking up whatever shoddy sheds they can get away with a similar short lifespan.
So if they can't bully the Howse family into selling the parade they will "use their statutory powers to bring about the regeneration of Botley"... just as they did to the farm and built the rancid office blocks & hall that are the very worst bits of the area. A greater indictment of the obscenity and abuse of power the "compulsory purchase" would represent I cannot think of. Doric are only interested in short term profits and chucking up whatever shoddy sheds they can get away with a similar short lifespan. hatofthecat
  • Score: 13

1:01pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

81 & 76...

Wil their heirs have a similar view?
81 & 76... Wil their heirs have a similar view? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

1:01pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Davosoxmail says...

Unfortunately the developers and council have not done Elms Parade proud over the years ever since the old library was pulled down and replaced with the Seacourt Hall and office block. It looks all to sad. The only nice part is the row of old shops on the parade. I would suggest the best option is to leave the old shops alone and pull all the "new" buildings down and replace with something more suitable and in keeping with the area. It's all a mishmash at the moment and they can't make it worse. I was brought up in Botley, went to the primary school and work in the green grocers shop around 1960. I live in Australia now but visit family in the area every 2 years and always enjoy walking along Elms Parade. Hopefully the Howse family will manage to hold on. And Dilligaf2010, (comment 10:15 am) you don't have to live there to appreciate it.
Unfortunately the developers and council have not done Elms Parade proud over the years ever since the old library was pulled down and replaced with the Seacourt Hall and office block. It looks all to sad. The only nice part is the row of old shops on the parade. I would suggest the best option is to leave the old shops alone and pull all the "new" buildings down and replace with something more suitable and in keeping with the area. It's all a mishmash at the moment and they can't make it worse. I was brought up in Botley, went to the primary school and work in the green grocers shop around 1960. I live in Australia now but visit family in the area every 2 years and always enjoy walking along Elms Parade. Hopefully the Howse family will manage to hold on. And Dilligaf2010, (comment 10:15 am) you don't have to live there to appreciate it. Davosoxmail
  • Score: 13

8:24pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Excellent photos and a fantastic campaign: save the parade but demolish the neighbouring concrete ugliness. Why not extend the parade with more small-scale shops built in brick with a similar style to the 1930s design? And the 1000 jobs on offer in the new shopping mall are not new jobs but jobs taken from other shops which suffer a fall in sales. Construction jobs are not long-term either. The developers are getting desperate!
Excellent photos and a fantastic campaign: save the parade but demolish the neighbouring concrete ugliness. Why not extend the parade with more small-scale shops built in brick with a similar style to the 1930s design? And the 1000 jobs on offer in the new shopping mall are not new jobs but jobs taken from other shops which suffer a fall in sales. Construction jobs are not long-term either. The developers are getting desperate! Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 6

8:25am Wed 19 Mar 14

Andy of jericho says...

The farmhouse was bought through a compulsory purchase order and demolished in the ’60s"

So these are the family who profited by demolishing an iconic 19the century farmhouse and concreting over farmland which once stretched right up the hill here, to build a shopping precinct exactly like 10000 others from Croydon to Middlesborough which has all the visual appeal of a bucket of cold sick?

I say: blow up Botley shops and reinstate the farmhouse and farm!
The farmhouse was bought through a compulsory purchase order and demolished in the ’60s" So these are the family who profited by demolishing an iconic 19the century farmhouse and concreting over farmland which once stretched right up the hill here, to build a shopping precinct exactly like 10000 others from Croydon to Middlesborough which has all the visual appeal of a bucket of cold sick? I say: blow up Botley shops and reinstate the farmhouse and farm! Andy of jericho
  • Score: -1

5:09pm Fri 21 Mar 14

SlightlyFrosty says...

Andy of Jericho, I think you may have misunderstood the article. The farmhouse was compulsorily purchased *off* the Howse family, not *by* them.

Rather ruins the next paragraph in your comment.
Andy of Jericho, I think you may have misunderstood the article. The farmhouse was compulsorily purchased *off* the Howse family, not *by* them. Rather ruins the next paragraph in your comment. SlightlyFrosty
  • Score: 0

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