IT IS all change for a community in Botley as key facilities are re-homed in vacant units to allow for the first phase of a shopping centre redevelopment to begin.

Seven months since planning permission was granted to transform West Way Shopping Centre, the wheels are beginning to turn for the occupants on site.

An application was submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council by developers Mace to relocate the Botley Baptist Church, Seacourt Hall and Botley Hall so it can begin knocking down Elms Court.

The temporary homes in the West Way Shopping Centre include Brasserie B's old premises for Botley Hall, and the church moving into a building previously earmarked for the Branches Youth Cafe.

Emily Smith, district councillor for Botley and Sunningwell, said: "It was a bit of a shock to be told that the unit for the youth cafe was going to be used for the church as they were about to sign the lease.

"But Mace have been good in finding another vacant one in the centre and have also offered to pay for any extra costs in terms of getting a kitchen.

"There's a little bit of work that needs doing to make it fit for purpose but we will get there, it has put the project back a few months."

Reverend Kalyan Das of Botley Baptist Church said: "There has been a lot of background work to get to this point and we are looking forward to the next stages.

"There are still a lot of t's to be crossed and i's to be dotted but we are excited about this next step.

"I think we are expecting to be in the unit for the a while as they start work on the new facilities.

"Change is a process and everything is not going to happen overnight."

The application also looks to move the library to a vacant building next door to Betfred on Chapel Way.

Once phase one is complete the organisations will move into newly-built premises and phase two will begin, which will see shopping centre tenants move temporarily into new buildings in Westminster Way.

Development director at Mace Huw Griffiths said: "In line with the planning consent given last year we are considering the demolition that will be associated with phase one of the redevelopment, which includes the current Botley Baptist Church, Botley Library and Seacourt Hall.

"In order to allow for the church, library and North Hinksey Parish Council to continue operating during the redevelopment we are discussing temporary relocation options with them.

"We held a Community Liaison Group meeting before Christmas to update the community on these plans and continue to work closely with everyone in Botley as the plans progress."

For more information and to make a comment on the consultation visit Vale of White Horse District Council's website and search using the reference number: P16/V3234/FUL.

The consultation ends on Thursday, February 2.