A DEVELOPER appears to have backed down amid public pressure over plans to change car park and access routes to the West Way scheme in Botley.

Some residents had claimed that an amendment submitted by developers Mace to remove ramps to the upper floor of the proposed car park would cause traffic chaos, if given the go-ahead.

The changes would mean access to the upper car-park area in the new centre would be solely from Church Way via Arthray Road, which lie to the rear of the development.

Dozens of objections to the application were submitted to the Vale of White Horse District Council planning team, with neighbouring residents claiming the move, if approved, would lead to dangerous traffic levels along Arthray Road – a relatively narrow residential street.

Oxfordshire County Council Highway department had also said it was ‘not supportive’ of the original amendments but did not formally raise an objection.

The developers have since submitted two further applications, including one just this week, which they say will tackle residents’ fears over traffic.

Dr Mary Gill of West Way Community Concern, said the new application showed that "public pressure does work".

Dr Gill said: “We will look at the changes over the next couple of days, to make sure nothing else has slipped in, but the fact that Mace has had to revert back to some of the original plans shows that public pressure does work.

“I wish to reiterate that West Way Community Concern is not opposed to redevelopment of the centre, as some people seem to think, but wish to ensure that whatever development we have works as well as it can for everyone, and most importantly is safe for users and other people in the area.”

The new plans would see the ramps to the upper floor reinstated while removable bollards would be put in place in Church Way to ensure only service vehicles can gain access.

A supporting letter claims that with the ramps reinstated, traffic movements would be "similar to what was anticipated for the approved application".

The1960s shopping arcade is set to be demolished and replaced with new shops, a hotel and student accommodation.

Planning permission was granted in 2016, however, work on the development did not start until March this year, long after many of the centre’s traders moved out.

The centre has since become the target of a spate of graffiti attacks criticising the scheme.