Botley Centre SPD – my view


Botley shopping area boundary from Local Plan 2011

I’m working on my response to the Botley Centre SPD. The official consultation questionnaire begins with items from page 16 (out of 34). Do they assume we all agree (or at least don’t disagree) with everything that comes before?

I’ve decided to write a letter, and go page by page, addressing each paragraph on its own. I generally feel manipulated in feedback questionnaires when they don’t ask the questions about issues I feel are most important. (Like when a holiday hotel asks you how clean the room was, but not about their provision of wifi.)

I object to undefined wording, such as ‘highly sustainable’ and ‘truly sustainable’, and vibrant/exciting/bold, ‘high quality and presigious’. And so on.

Botley SPD vision

Vale’s Vision for Botley – click to enlarge

My overall view is driven by para 1.2.2. They state that the previous application was refused because of the significant level of local opposition. I disagree, strongly. The application was refused because sensible members of planning committee saw that this didn’t serve Botley’s needs. It didn’t fit the site, nor the needs of local residents and businesses. I recall Cllr Lovatt saying in the Planning Committee meeting, “Botley deserves better.” (Cllr Lovatt is on Cabinet now.)

So Vale’s response has been to enshrine Doric’s aspirations as put forward in their failed planning application into policy, such that if the same application were to be submitted again, it would be approved, based on this SPD.

I most certainly STRONGLY DISAGREE and intend to make that point as eloquently as I can. (However, I promise to restrict my use of adverbs.)