THE family who own a parade of shops in Botley spared from demolition have hit out at planning documents that leave its future uncertain again.

Mace, the developer behind a second set of plans to redevelop the West Way shopping centre, has promised to retain the 1930s Elms Parade shops.

But new Vale of White Horse District Council planning guidelines have put this in doubt as they allow the row of shops to be redeveloped.

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) indicates the shops, St Peter and St Paul Church and Field House sheltered housing, could be redeveloped.

Arthur Howse, 77, whose grandfather Stephen built Elms Parade on the family’s farmland in 1937, said it should not be in the area highlighted in the document and neither should the church and Field House.

“It’s worrying as the document is terribly vague.”

Mr Howse, who lived in a flat above the shops for his first 28 years, added: “It seems the same people who briefed Doric have briefed those who made this document.

“The developer promised it would not be included in the plans so it should not be.”

Mr Howse, a trustee of the shops with cousins Bob Howse and Caroline Kellner, said the family has no intention of selling.

He attended a consultation event on Thursday which displayed the new planning policy for residents’ comments.

The SPD says that buildings of up to eight storeys could feature in a development at the east end of the site near Westminster Way.

Permitted uses listed in the document include a cinema, student rooms, a hotel, community hub, food shops and affordable housing.

Grant Nightingale, a Botley resident for 30 years, saw the new guidelines.

He said: “I’m disappointed. I live near the shopping centre and a building of eight storeys would certainly block out the light for me.”

Another resident, Trevor Jones, added: “I feel let down.

“Two and a half years ago I sat in Seacourt Hall when Doric showed us their plans.

“This is deja vu. They have brought back the idea that student accommodation, a cinema and a hotel is required, which it isn’t.”

Huw Griffiths, of Mace, said: “Mace welcomes the SPD, is reviewing the content and will submit its comments.

“Mace can confirm it intends to retain Elms Parade as part of its forthcoming redevelopment proposal.”

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