BLUEPRINT plans for the shopping redevelopment in Botley have been called a ‘dog’s breakfast’ by a campaigner.

Dr Mary Gill said the planning document, which will be scrutinised today, should not be approved just because the district council ‘has spent a lot of money on it’.

Dr Gill, who co-chairs the West Way Community Concern campaign, said: “They have started this process because the Vale owns the land.

“They sold it to Mace – but the sale is subject to Mace getting planning permission.

“Mace agreed to pay too much for the land and to get the money back they have got to get planning permission for an eight-storey building. The Botley Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is a convenient way of saying to the planning committee ‘we have agreed this development, so we have to pass this application’.”

Vale of White Horse District Council deferred its decision on whether to approve a framework for the future of West Way after campaigners sent a letter to the council in October last year saying it would be unlawful.

District councillor for Botley and Sunningwell, Debby Hallett, said the biggest problem was the Vale’s position as both land owner and the planning authority.

She said: “Many locals consider it to be a conflict of interest.

“It was only when the Doric application for West Way fell through in December last year that the Vale decided they wanted to do an SPD.

“The refusal of Doric’s plans was a decision the Vale were not expecting so they wanted to do something to ensure the application could get approved.”

Developers Mace and Doric had a £100m scheme for the area thrown out by members of the council’s planning committee last year.

Since then Mace has taken on the project alone and will now use the SPD to produce new plans for the site.

A spokesman for the district council said it was used to dealing with issues as a landowner and planning authority.

The spokesman said: “It has processes in place to ensure that it fulfils its legal duties in respect of both responsibilities. “In the case of the West Way redevelopment the cabinet has decided to go further and split itself in two, with half of the cabinet deciding on the sale of the land and the rest making decisions around the planning issues.”

The document will be approved or rejected by district councillors at a cabinet meeting taking place on Monday.

Mace is expected to submit a formal planning application for the West Way development in the coming weeks.