Oxford

Botley shopping complex protestors form human chain around site

West Way Image copyright Chris Church
Image caption Protesters staged a Mexican wave with red balloons to show their anger at the development plans

More than 750 protesters in an Oxford suburb formed a human chain around a site earmarked for a £100m shopping and student residential complex.

Botley residents staged a red balloon Mexican wave to show "anger" at plans to demolish the existing precinct.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood joined the protest and said the complex would increase congestion.

Developer Doric and Mace said it had continued to receive support from the "self-described silent majority".

Image copyright Doric Mace
Image caption The £100m plan will replace the existing 1960s shopping precinct with a modern centre

Campaigners from West Way Community Concern do not want the development, that includes a supermarket, a six-screen cinema, 525 student homes, over-55 residential accommodation, and a Baptist church.

Campaign leader Chris Church said: "It will turn an area with a good mix of small independent businesses into a faceless shopping mall."

Huw Griffiths from Mace said: "It is widely accepted that the regeneration of Botley District Centre is much needed and overdue.

"Doric/Mace has answered calls made by the Vale of White Horse District Council and local residents to propose an exciting and vibrant development that will bring great benefits to those living and working in the area."

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