AUTHOR Philip Pullman has added his voice to concerns about the planned £100m revamp of Botley’s West Way.

The Cumnor resident and His Dark Materials author has signed an open letter to Vale of White Horse District Council against the plans.

Developers Doric and Mace want to demolish Elms Parade shops and surrounding buildings for a supermarket, hotel, gym, community centre, library, health centre, 50 flats and 525 student rooms.

The letter is also signed by the Rector of Osney, the Rev Clare Sykes, Baroness Deech, of Cumnor, and Peter Thompson, of Oxford Civic Society.

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It calls for the retention of existing traders, Field House and Elms Parade and a scheme that will not increase traffic congestion.

It said: “Doric’s proposals fail to meet any of these points as well as some key points in your own policies.

“There are a number of planning reasons for the [Vale’s] planning committee to reject these proposals and we believe that all our points above could be achieved by the Vale engaging with the local community on a new scheme.”

Doric director Simon Hillcox said: “We’re investing well over £100m in the much- needed regeneration of Botley district centre.

“We’re creating new shops, leisure and community facilities all supported by a dramatic increase in free parking, business incubator units and crèche facilities.”

He added: “This will give the people of Botley the facilities that people elsewhere in Oxford take for granted.

“We’re going to create a fantastic new centre to serve the next generation of Botley residents and create 600 jobs.”

The Vale’s planning committee make a decision on Wednesday, December 3 at Abingdon’s Guildhall. The public can attend.

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