Residents demand Westgate reassessment

first_imgCampaign group Oxford Against Westgate Expansion are lobbying the Environment Agency to undertake another flood risk assessment on the Westgate Centre redevelopment plans.A meeting was held in the town hall earlier this week to debate the proposed redevelopment. Alternative proposals were discussed, possibly including a proportion of affordable housing or a more environmentally friendly refit of the existing shopping centre.Marketing and community relations manager for Capital Shopping Centres, Simon Ward said, “Throughout the lengthy consultation process prior to the planning application submission, the Westgate Partnership worked closely with both city and county councils, the Environment Agency, transport groups and the local community to ensure the development of a retail-led mixed use regeneration scheme for Oxford which is at the forefront of sustainable design.”“The scheme is designed to reduce energy requirements through natural ventilation, intelligent lighting controls, solar panels, green roofs and rainwater collection,” he added.However, campaigners are not convinced. Many believe building an underground car park could reduce flood storage and increase the danger to surrounding roads.Gillian Turberfield, 76, from Pegasus Way, Oxford, told the Oxford Mail, “I grieve for Oxford because I think this scheme is going to be a disaster.“The roads won’t be able to cope with the increase in traffic. The people of Oxford have never been asked what they want for the site instead of a big shopping centre.”More than 70 people attended the meeting. Speaking afterwards, campaigner Jess Worth, 33, said, “We had no idea so many people were against the development – it has spurred the group on to fight even harder to make sure it doesn’t happen.”A second meeting has been arranged at the Town Hall for Thursday March 13.last_img

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