Mace announced they have a new phasing plan for West Way Place development. Their new plan means 2 years less construction time overall, but it also means Botley loses some of our local services for the whole period.
At the Community Liaison Group meeting on the 10th of April, we heard officially about the new plans for phasing. Tesco, Co-op and Lloyds will be among the tenants temporarily housed in modified quarters in Elms Court and the old Grant Thornton building. This is to help with continuity of services to the local community during construction.
To see the plans, check out Mace’s West Way site, here: http://westwayconsultation.co.uk/ Use the contact tab on that site to ask about anything not already there. (They aren’t all there at the time of writing this, but I’ve asked that they be put up.) Particularly see this 2 page update.
It’s been upsetting to learn that community favourites, local independent businesses such as Cafe Aloha and Hair Therapy and the chain Iceland, which so many rely on, are closing down. Everyone had hoped they would continue during construction and be part of the new centre. Some discussions are still ongoing and are therefore sensitive and private. But the traders make their own decisions about what’s best for them and their circumstances.
Who approves the change to phasing plans?
Ultimately, the Vale planners do.
The developers obligations are set out in the Section 106 agreement, which is a legally binding contract about what the developers and other parties will do.
I’ve downloaded a copy of the s106 agreements to Dropbox , so you can see it here. Sadly it’s not searchable, so you have to browse it to find what you’re looking for. (I did ask Vale to fix this but they said they couldn’t. I’ll see what I can do.)
Para 5.5 (approx pg 10) there gives authority to the Vale planners to agree any changes to the phasing plan (approx page 52). Our planning officer said he wanted the public to have sight of the proposed changes and to be able to comment on them. So he asked Mace to include the phasing changes in their imminent planning application for a temporary change of use, and they agreed to do that. Mace have said there will be public exhibitions and a chance to raise concerns and get your questions answered.
So we’re about to embark on another period of significant change here.