THE developer of the multi-million West Way Shopping Centre has revealed images that show the changes to its latest plans.

Following a 'Fight the Height' protest by local campaign group West Way Community Concern, it was announced last week that Mace would reduce the scale of some of the development.

The residential block facing the A34 has been lowered from nine storeys to eight with the hotel reduced to seven storeys and a student accommodation block down to six.

But Huw Griffiths, development director at Mace, said this would be the last time the firm would reduce the scheme's height.

He said: "We would not want to reduce the height of the scheme any further.

"While we have always been clear that some mass along the west of the development helps to pay for some of the community benefits at the east of the development, we know that some residents feel nine storeys is just a bit too high for Botley.

"I think for us this comes under the sustainability of the whole project going forward.

"The reality is, if you want to get the right investor, to take this on they need to be comfortable with the income that supports it. The development needs to support itself."

West Way Community Concern's co-chairwoman Dr Mary Gill said she was disappointed the reduction would only be three metres but said the concession was another victory for residents.

She said: "These changes show the community were right to stand up and demand a better deal for Botley.

"The buildings were clearly too high and when the residents' views were backed up by the Design Review Panel and others it was clear Mace had to concede something."

As part of the redevelopment, Mace want to offer apprenticeships to residents throughout the scheme's different phases.

Mr Griffiths added: "One of the benefits of a longer project like this is that there are plenty of opportunities for apprenticeships and not just in the construction stage.

"I think it is important to be able to provide these opportunities for people in the area."

David McFarlane, from SP Broadway, added: "We want to engage with the local schools as much as possible.

"If during the construction process we could involve the school in a project, or we could visit schools and present on the various aspects of construction and design.

"We really want to involve the community in this scheme as much as possible."

Section 106 money – given by developers to fund local projects as part of a scheme – has also been earmarked to go towards education, bus stops, parking, a library and a community centre.

The revised application is expected to go in front of Vale of White Horse district council's planning committee on June 15.

If it is approved by councillors, work on the redevelopment is expected to get underway early next year.

Mr Griffiths estimates if all goes smoothly, the site could be finished in 2019.

Residents can comment on the amended plans until June 2 at using the reference number P16/V0246/FUL.