CASH has been set aside to carry out improvements to Botley’s West Way Shopping Centre following the rejection of Doric’s £100m redevelopment scheme.

Vale of White Horse District Council leader Matthew Barber said he has budgeted for essential works and welcomed ideas from campaign group West Way Community Concern.

In December the Vale council’s planning committee unanimously rejected Doric and Mace’s proposed scheme for the shopping centre.

The developers wanted to flatten Elms Parade and surrounding buildings for a supermarket, hotel, cinema, gym, library, 50 flats and 525 student rooms.

Doric has lodged an appeal against the decision with the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Barber said: “Any redevelopment plans are on hold and we need to look at what we can do to an area which has been neglected over a number of years.

“We have budgeted for essential works, works that are not very sexy like structural repairs.

“We are happy to work with West Way Community Concern over what else should be done.

“It has offered volunteer support and we are happy to facilitate that.

Our top stories

“We want to hear the community’s ideas.”

He added that the council would have to look at what work was wanted or needed before deciding on a specific amount of money for the scheme.

The campaign group met with the council cabinet on January 30 to discuss the future of the shopping centre.

Chairman Chris Church said: “It is quite encouraging, we met with Matthew Barber and he seems to recognise something needs to be done.

“We will be coming up with a list of ideas of how to spend small amounts of money to end the blight of Botley.

“Things like clean-ups, better lighting and fixing the paving are top of the priorities at the moment.”

With an appeal potentially seeing the the saga roll on until at least the summer, Botley’s future remains in doubt.

Mr Church added: “Improving Botley is part of our work but we also have to deal with a possible appeal and the long term issues are still up in air until we hear something more concrete from the developers.”

The campaigners have organised an “I Love Botley” day for Saturday, February 14.

From 12.30pm residents are invited to drop in at Seacourt Hall to give their suggestions on what they would like to see funds spent on to improve West Way.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.