WORK has begun to dismantle a sorely missed petrol station in Botley to pave the way for new shops.

Workers have appeared on site at the Seacourt Tower Retail Park and are preparing to take down the buildings and forecourt of the former BP Garage which closed in September. in preparation for a Marks and Spencer store and Costa Coffee to open.

Vale of White Horse District Council's planning committee approved plans for the site in December as part of the second phase of the redevelopment of the retail park.

The Marks and Spencer will occupy the north western corner of the site and is the third major supermarket to open in the area in recent years after Aldi and Waitrose.

A Costa Coffee drive-through will be built in the north eastern corner and a 395-space car park will fill the rest of the site.

Residents had long opposed the closure of the garage and now face pricey detours in order to fill up.

And North Hinksey Parish Council objected to the plan on the grounds the stores could be a threat to new businesses in the West Way shops redevelopment.

Neither Marks & Spencer or Costa Coffee have announced the opening dates for the units.