A new £600,000 community hall – part of Botley’s regeneration scheme – has been moved from the first floor to the ground floor following an objection by parish councillors.

Doric, developers behind the £100m West Way scheme, has submitted amended plans to Vale of White Horse District Council.

In Doric Properties’ first set of plans, submitted in December last year, the community hall – to replace Seacourt Hall – was positioned where Field House sheltered accommodation currently is, to the west of the development.

Amended plans released by developers Doric and Mace in September saw the community hall move to the east of the development on the corner of Westminster Way and West Way and on to the first floor of a student accommodation block.

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North Hinksey parish clerk Alan Stone said: “A significant number of people using the community hall would be elderly people or young mothers with children and you can’t operate it on the first or second floor.

“The Seacourt hall management committee and the parish council have been in discussions with Doric and they are in the process of submitting amended plans. At the end of the day they have listened and taken it on board.”

Doric and Mace want to demolish Field House sheltered housing, Elms Parade shops, the vicarage, and Elms Court office block to build a supermarket, cinema, gym, health centre, shops, 33 flats and 525 student rooms.

The latest amendments submitted to the Vale are likely to mean another round of consultation taking place.

In an email to West Way Community Concern co-chairman Chris Church, Vale council planning officer Stuart Walker said: “Amended plans have been produced for discussion with the parish council in an attempt to overcome their objection to the community hall being on the first floor.

“The plans have not been accepted yet by the Vale as a formal amendment to the scheme as other changes are being considered by the developers.

“As and when amended plans are accepted a further round of consultation will take place.”

Huw Griffiths from Mace said: “We’ve been discussing revitalising Botley district centre with North Hinksey Parish Council since 2012. A key part of our plan is to replace the ageing Seacourt Hall with a larger, more modern equivalent with more useable space and lower running costs.

“The new hall will be almost 50 per cent bigger and will feature a kitchen and space for a permanent stage providing the opportunity to host everything from fitness classes, amateur dramatics to functions.”

The proposals were scheduled to go before Vale councillors for a decision on November 10.

This has now been postponed and a new date is expected to be announced shortly.

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