THIS is what the new Botley underpass could look like if planning permission for the £100m West Way regeneration scheme is approved next month.

The artwork and lighting would be installed as part of developers Doric and Mace’s contributions to the community as part of the planning application.

The developers would provide £10m towards a variety of projects including a new community hall, a new public library and improved cycle lanes.

Huw Griffiths, of Mace, said: “As part of our Vision for West Way, we’re making improvements to the roads, cycle ways, pavements and the area under the A34 flyover, which could become a fantastic mural, lifting the whole area. A mural under the A34 could transform the approach along West Way, turning a dingy, unwelcoming, industrial space into a vibrant warm and welcoming signpost to Botley. We will be looking for an iconic design and hope that we can commission a local artist to create something that reflects the area.”

Doric and Mace want to demolish Field House sheltered housing, the 1930s Elms Parade shops and the vicarage to build a cinema, supermarket, gym, health centre, 50 flats and 525 student rooms.

The photos are an example of what the underpass could look like and Doric will be launching a public art competition if planning permission is approved.

The vibrant plans for the underpass have received a mixed reception.


Chris Church

West Way Community Concern chairman Chris Church said: “Not many people walk under that bridge and very few people live in the vicinity of it. It looks as though the main people who will benefit from it will be those stuck in the increased traffic. Why spend money on that and why not talk to local people about how to improve the area? They have come up with these community benefits without talking to local people.”

Botley resident John Clements said: “The decoration of the A34 overbridge proposed by Doric is unnecessary and tasteless. Why would we want such a gaudy and pointless mess, when one is through it and on the other side in seconds anyway?

“I suspect it would prove very distracting for drivers and in reality be a road hazard that we could do without.

“All the concrete walls need is a coat of graffiti-resistant paint.”

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