RESIDENTS say the new West Way development plans revealed at an exhibition this week are ‘a step in the right direction’.

After nine months of consultation, residents, councillors and campaigners were finally shown developer Mace’s proposals for the site on Monday and yesterday.

The six-screen cinema has been scrapped, the supermarket reduced to 1,325 square metres and the amount of student accommodation reduced to 273 rooms.

Barbara Bolder, of Valley Park Road, said: “I do think the plans are an improvement compared to the original plans proposed by Doric.

“It is great there is no cinema now and they have reduced the size of the supermarket.

“I still do not think we need the student buildings and I’m not convinced about the car park, because I don’t believe all the students will be cycling or taking the bus – some of them might have cars.

“I remember when the original West Way shopping centre was built in the 1960s and they’ve just let it get so run down.

“There should be something for the youngsters here, and that’s why we came along, to make sure there’s something for them because they can’t get here when they’re at school.”

Newly elected co-chairman of the West Way Community Concern Group, Caroline Potter, said residents had been listened to.

She said: “This is definitely an improvement, but we have to wait and see what the community thinks.

“We are still at the early stages and there are things that need to be ironed out, such as the traffic flow and pedestrian access. Some of the diagrams are not entirely clear.”

The original £100m plans by Doric were rejected at a Vale of White Horse planning meeting last December.

They included a six-screen cinema, 525 student rooms, only 50 new homes and an 8,000 square metre supermarket.

To the horror of residents, Doric planned to demolish Elms Parade, Field House Day Centre and St Peter and St Paul vicarage.

A resident from Cumnor Hill who did not wish to be named said yesterday: “I think it is a huge improvement, especially with the smaller supermarket, and they’ve kept the most important parts of West Way, like Elms Parade.

“It is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Mace’s new plans also included a 123-room hotel, 139 new homes, additional shops and retail space behind Elms Parade and a community hub which would house the Baptist Church and the library.

Concerns were raised about the height of the buildings, which could be between five and eight storeys, and the impact of traffic.

Transport consultant Del Tester said a traffic management report was being compiled.

Mace will now collate residents’ feedback on the public exhibition and hold another consultation before submitting a planning application in the new year.