Headington News: Tuesday 25 April, 2017

Local elections and Referendum in May

All three will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017

(1) County Council election

The four-year term of all Oxfordshire county councillors has come to an end, so every division in the county will be contested.

The four divisions covering Headington & Marston are as follows. All four current county councillor are standing again and are marked below with an asterisk):

  • Barton, Sandhills & Risinghurst Division
    Chaka ARTWELL (Independent)
    Cath CONVERY (Conservative)
    Symon James HILL (Green)
    Glynis Mary PHILLIPS (Labour)*
    Steve WHEELER (Liberal Democrat)
  • Churchill & Lye Valley Division
    Liz BRIGHOUSE (Labour)*
    Peter Charles COGGINS (Liberal Democrat)
    Steven Mark DAWE (Green)
    Johnson Mackline KYESWA (Conservative)
  • Headington & Quarry Division
    Bill ASQUITH (Labour)
    Duncan Valentine HATFIELD (Conservative)
    Miranda SHAW (Green)
    Roz SMITH (Liberal Democrat)*
  • Marston & Northway Division
    Mark BHAGWANDIN (Conservative)
    Maria BOURBON (Liberal Democrat)
    Mark Robert LYGO (Labour)*
    Alistair David Pryce MORRIS (Green)

More information about the above candidates (and of those for all other Divisions in Oxford city) can be found here.

(2) City Council by-election

A by-election will be held in Barton & Sandhills Ward to replace Van Coulter (Labour). The candidates are as follows:

  • Chaka ARTWELL (Independent)
    Symon James HILL (Green)
    Mark LADBROOKE (Labour)
    Peter SAVILLE (Conservative)
    Steve Wheeler (Liberal Democrat)

More details about the above candidates can be downloaded here.

(3) Referendum on Headington Plan

All those living in the designated area will be able to vote on whether to accept the Headington Neighbourhood Plan.


General Election in June

This will be held on Thursday 8 June 2017. The candidates for Oxford East constituency have not yet been announced, but Andrew Smith (Labour), the current MP, has announced that he will not be standing: see his Message to his constituents

Artisan Distillery for Cheney Lane

In April 2017 the Oxford Artisan Distillery (Toad) submitted a planning application for “Erection of Visitor Centre comprising cafe/restaurant, tasting room and bar for distillery and public conveniences (Use Class A3)” at the former South Park Depot at the top of Cheney Lane:

The top of Cheney Lane, although accessed from Headington, is technically in St Clement's like the rest of South Park, and so it was the West Area Planning Committee who on 11 October 2016 granted permission to the small-batch distillery's earlier pair of applications to craft artisan spirits at the South Park Depot off Cheney Lane:

(1) “Change of use of site from council depot to artisan distillery”
(revised proposal omitting café and visitor centre):

(2) “Erection of single storey barn to provide storage space”:

The distillery will be located in the eighteenth-century threshing barn, which is a listed building. The plans include a new storage barn to house casks for ageing spirit, heritage grain, and other ingredients. An old shelter in the north-east corner of the site will be converted into a staff and administration proposal

The Oxford Civic Society pointed out that the site is subject to restrictive covenants set up by the Pilgrim Trust and the benefactors David & Joanna MacIver, banning the production of alcohol there; but city council planner Sarah Orchard said that this (and the fact that the site had been earmarked for housing) were “not material planning considerations”.

Proposed new research building at JR Hospital

The University of Oxford is proposing to build a new neuroscience research facility at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The new building is intended to provide purpose-built facilities for the Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD), as well as providing additional research and desk space for the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB). Both of these organisations are component units of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (part of the University’s Medical Sciences Division). When the development is complete, it will create the UK’s largest dedicated centre for stroke research.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Oxford City Council in July 2017 to take forward the development of this new facility with construction to begin in early 2018.

Members of the University and the design team will be present at two consultation events at Osler House on the JR site (near Osler Road):

Friday 28 April 2017 between 4.00pm and 7.00pm

Saturday 29 April 2017 between 10.00am and 12.00noon

EF: Planning application
International Academy (west side of lane)

In March 2017 EF submitted a new planning application for the EF International Academy, based at Cotuit Hall on the west side of Pullen’s Lane. This is for “ Demolition of single storey lecture hall and refectory buildings. Change of use from Student Accommodation (Sui Generis) to Residential Institution (Use Class C2). Erection of single storey connecting buildings, along with internal reconfiguration of the retained buildings, and provision of associated car parking and cycle parking spaces, landscaping, plant, and associated works.” The application includes 139 documents.

In 2013 EF withdrew planning application 12/01106/FUL following concerns expressed by local residents. This was for “Erection of 3 new buildings on 3 floors plus basement to provide teaching, residential and ancillary accommodation, together with underground common room to frontage. Refurbishment of existing Marcus and Brewer buildings, including alteration to existing elevations. Provision of new pedestrian footpath from Pullens Lane”:

The Academy is a school for 16–18-year-olds on two-year residential courses studying for A-levels and the International Baccalaureate. At the moment Cotuit Hall is used only for teaching, but the college hopes to expand it to accommodate 350 boarding students in 142 bedrooms (with between one and three students per room).

A Headington Hill Umbrella Group (HHUG) was formed by local residents:

EF bought Cotuit Hall (which previously housed 102 Brookes students) from Oxford Brookes University in 2011.

Development at Wick Farm?

Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and his family (Wick Farming Ltd, who in 2012 bought the 280-acre Wick Farm site off Bayswater Road) have confirmed their intention to built 1,850 homes there:

Wick Farm Ltd and would-be house-builder Berkeley Homes also want to build there a 250-bedroom accommodation block for the new Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery being launched this year, and a 100-bed convalescent home for older patients to ease bed-blocking at the hospitals. There could also be a car park for the hospitals with a shuttle bus.

Plans could also include a 20-acre parkland cemetery next to the Crematorium.

Unlike the site of Barton Park, this land is (1) in the Green Belt and (2) falls under South Oxfordshire District Council. No formal approach has yet been made to SODC, and it is not included in their Local Plan, which has just been published.

Christ Church owns adjoining land to the west of Barton Park and was also reported to be interesting in developing it.

Public art in Headington

Three new pieces of public art have already been unveiled in Headington in 2017:
    “Origin” bridge sculpture at Old Road Campus
    Aslan in Bury Knowle Park
    Wood Farm Mosaic.

With at least seventeen works of public art having appeared in Headington since 2008, it is no longer possible to show them all on one page. Each can now be found (with the newest at the top) linked to its own page in this new section:

Death of city councillor Van Coulter

Van Coulter, who was Oxford City Councillor (Labour) for Barton & Sandhills Ward from 2010 and Chair of the East Oxford Planning Committee, died suddenly on 13 March 2017 at the age of 57.

A by-election for this city council vacancy will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017, at the same time as the county council elections and the referendum on the Headington Plan.

Headington shop & business changes 2017
W. H. Smith

This shop at 99 London Road closed on 23 March 2017.

Children's Air Ambulance Charity Shop

108–110 London Road

This opened on 31 March 2017 in the former Clic Sargent charity shop next to the HSBC Bank. This shop closed in August 2016 and was advertised to let at £30,000 per annum.

Desi Lounge/Bar Meze restaurant

The Desi Lounge opened in the former Bar Meze premises at 146 London Road on 10 February 2017, but the premises were repossessed by the landlord, Khushi Properties Ltd, on 4 April 2017 and it is now closed.

Jacobs Brasserie

Jacobs Chop House had a refit and reopened on 18 February 2017 with a new menu and a new name, Jacobs Brasserie:

Dragon Express Gourmet Food

This is being fitted out at 81 London Road (the premises of the former Rose Tree restaurant which closed in 2016).

The city planners have certified that “the proposed change of use of outside seating area to public highway is lawful”. The new owners feel that the outside platform was an obstacle to the customers' willingness to go into the premises.

An application for “Display of 1No. internally-illuminated fascia sign and 1No. internally-illuminated hanging sign” has been approved


Savers at 112 London Road has been granted a licence to sell alcohol:

Temple Bookbinders

Temple Bookbinders moved to Yarnton from Stephen Road, Headington in April 2017:

Aldi at Horspath Driftway

Aldi opened in the former Curry's shop at Horspath Driftway on 9 March 2017:

Costa Coffee at Horspath Driftway

An application by Costa Coffee for “Erection of a single storey coffee shop unit (Sui Generis) with associated drive-thru facility, car parking, landscaping and associated works” on land next to Homebase was approved at the East Area Planning Committee on 8 February 2017:

Headington Neighbourhood Plan

On 9 March 2017 the City Council Executive Board approved the progress of the Headington Neighbourhood Plan to a referendum to be held on Thursday 4 May 2017 (at the same time as the county council elections).

Diabetes research centre for Headington

Novo Nordisk is to invest £115m over ten years in a new science research centre to be based in the Bioescalator Building currently under construction on the Old Road Campus.

Stansfeld Park, Quarry Road

The application for “Demolition of redundant former outdoor education centre buildings; construction of a new science education centre and innovation centre with parking, access and landscape enhancement” submitted by the Oxford Trust (Science Oxford) was approved by the East Area Planning Committee on 8 February 2017:

The Trust announced on 2 February that it had completed the acquisition of the former Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre:

On 27 October 2015 it announced that (subject to planning permission) the centre would become the Wood Centre for Science and Innovation (WCSI), which will be twinned with the Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI).

This 7.2 ha site was originally bought by John Stedwell Stansfeld so that children from St Ebbe’s could stay in the countryside, but in 1933 his family sold it to Birmingham City Council.

Background to the sale

Birmingham City Council agreed on 17 March 2014 to cease their outdoor learning service here after 31 July 2014.

Birmingham Property Services put the centre up for sale by informal tender in 2014. The centre was registered as an asset of community value, so community groups had a chance to raise the funds to bid for the 250-year lease on the land for six months after it was put up for sale. The two unsuccessful bidders were the Oxford Co-Housing group and a care provider.

The Friends of Stansfeld group was formed in June 2015 to represent the community in the sale of the Stansfeld Outdoor Centre. The aim of the Friends is that the woodland area is protected in perpetuity (and opened to the public if possible) and that the site provides educational facilities, especially a Forest School.

“Access to Headington”

The next phase of the £12.5m “Access to Headington” project has started in the Slade:

Work on this project started on 17 October 2016 at Old Road. It is expected to continue until September 2018.


On 9 June 2016 David Nimmo-Smith, the County Council Cabinet Member for Environment (including Transport) approved the £12.5m “Access to Headington” revised plans:

New plans just for Headley Way and Windmill Road were released by the county council on 28 April 2016, and this extra consultation closed on 23 May 2016:

The county council's designs were sent out to the 4,500 homes most directly affected, and are also available here online:

The formal consultation on the Traffic Consultation Orders (TROs) closed on 25 March 2016.

All the proposed road humps at side road entries had a consultation of their own, which closed on 8 April 2016:

Hospital heat pipe

Work on the Headington heatpipe that will run between the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals is behind schedule and is now expected to finish a week later than anticipated, on 26 May 2017 on Churchill Drive

Work in the streets of Headington began on 28 November 2016, with three dig teams.

More Headington heat pipes?

Oxford City Council announced in June 2016 that it is undertaking a £136,000 study of the feasibility of installing a network of pipes under the city centre and Headington to share methods of generating electricity.

Latimer Road: 175 student rooms

Beech House on the corner of Latimer Road, which will accommodate 175 students, is currently under construction. It is not (as has been wrongly  reported) currently available for sale. It is owned by the developers Frontier Estates (Oxon) Ltd and will be managed on their behalf by Unite Students.

Frontier first outlined their plans for this new student development at a public exhibition at Oxford Brookes University on 21 October 2014, and their consultant David Morris listened to the concerns of local residents at The Hub in Headington on 7 November. They then held a public exhibition on 27 January 2015 at St Clement's Family Centre.

The following planning application was submitted in March 2015. It was originally refused at the East Area Planning Committee meeting on 2 December 2015 but was called in by twelve councillors and was approved at the meeting of the Planning Review Committee held on 27 January 2016, with conditions on completely screening the view to the school building next door. and approved in April 2016:

Demolition of residential houses at 36, 38 and 40 London Road and 2 Latimer Road. Erection of 167 student study rooms and ancillary facilities on 4 and 5 levels plus basement, together with 2 x 2-bed and 2 x 3-bed maisonettes. Provision of 4 car parking spaces and 1 car parking space for disabled drivers, 88 cycle parking spaces, landscaped areas and ancillary works.

Another planning application was submitted in April 2016 “to enable the student accommodation to be occupied by cultural and academic visitors and by conference and summer school delegates outside of term time”, and this was approved in January 2017:

In May 2016 details were submitted “in compliance with conditions 3 (Samples), 4a (Tree Removal), 4b (Operational Details), 5 (Arb Watching Brief), 6 (underground services), 7 (Hard standing - trees), 13 (Construction Travel Plan), 15 (Bin and bike stores), 18 (Bio-diversity enhancement), 19 (Drainage) and 20 (Screening)”:

The demolition of four houses on the west corner of Latimer Road and London Road to make way for the development took place in  May/June 2016, and work has been continuing since then.

Latimer Road: St Luke's Hospital

St Luke's Hospital's planning application for “Removal of the existing pitched roof, a new reception area with 2 additional bedrooms over, an off-site constructed second storey to house 20 new bedrooms and associated external works” was approved in September 2016:

“Botnar 3” plans approved

The plans submitted by Nuffield Orthopaedic Limited for a new development at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre were approved by the East Area Planning Committee in January 2017. They are for “Demolition of temporary office building. Erection of freestanding two-storey research building (Botnar 3) with glazed footbridge link to existing Botnar Research Centre building. Provision of 4 disabled car parking spaces and covered cycle store for 200 bicycles”.

This building will be situated to the south of the present Botnar Research Centre (on the other side of the access road) and connected to it by a bridge. Two related plans have also been approved

  • Erection of new electrical substation: 16/02686/FUL
  • Formation of replacement car park for eight vehicles for a temporary period: 16/02688/FUL
Barton Park

Foundations for the first homes are now being laid:

For full details about this development please see the separate page:

29 Old High Street

29 Old High Street

Oxford City Council undertook a structural survey of this house on 9 November 2016


Full saga of 29 Old High Street



C.S. Lewis Nature Reserve

A "Save the C. S. Lewis Nature Reserve” petition to Oxford City Council has over 4,000 signatures. It relates to a planning application by the Wychwood Foundation for housing adjacent to 4 Wychwood Lane for vulnerable adults:

“Erection of 2.5 storey building to provide 9 apartments (4x3 beds, 3x2 beds and 2x1 beds) on behalf of the Wychwood Foundation. Provision of ancillary facilities, 22 car parking spaces, cycle parking and amenity space. Creation of new vehicular access from Lewis Close”

This access road runs very near the reserve. Over 200 people have objected to the application.

New house for Lime Walk
120 Lime Walk

A planning application was submitted in December 2016 for the semi-detached house at 120 Lime Walk: “Demolition of existing dwelling, garage & outbuilding. Erection of 1 x 4-bed dwellinghouse (Use Class C3). Provision of car parking and private amenity space”:

52 new homes near Waynflete Road

The preliminary construction management plan for this new development, submitted by Cala Management Ltd in 2016, has been approved. It relates to 39 and 41 Waynflete Road (under Oxford City Council) and the land behind (under South Oxfordshire District Council):

The following planning application submitted in 2014 by Cala Homes (Chiltern) Ltd to both South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxford City Council was approved by both councils:

“Demolition of existing pair of semi-detached houses (39 and 41 Waynflete Road). Erection of 52 houses and flats (including 40% of net increase as affordable homes) in single-storey buildings, two-storey buildings, and two-storey buildings with rooms in roofs (47 dwellings proposed off Waynflete Road and 5 detached dwellings off Bayswater Farm Road). Construction of roads and footpaths including new accesses off Waynflete Road and Bayswater Farm Road. Provision of open space, parking, garages and landscaping. NB Demolition of existing houses, estate road and only part of new build in Oxford City District”.

The plans were approved by South Oxfordshire District Council in August 2016:

The description is identical on plans submitted to Oxford City Council, except that it did not include the last sentence. The proposal to demolish two houses in Waynflete Road to provide an access road was agreed by the East Area Planning Committee in September:

Sculpture for Old Road campus

Planning permission has been granted for a landmark sculpture entitled “Origin” by Julian Wild. It will form a large bridge over the grassed area between the Big Data Institute (BDI) and the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) research building, and is intended to celebrate the innovation that takes place at the BDI and Target Discovery Institute Buildings.

It comprises two rectangular bars emerging from the ground that meet in the middle where they are pixilated into a network of rectangular blocks. It will be 5m high, 12m long, and 2.2m wide, and will be constructed of steel and stainless steel, partly painted red.

The Holyoake Road home of C. S. Lewis

Hillsboro, the house at 14 Holyoake Road where C. S. Lewis lived with Mrs Moore in the 1920s before buying The Kilns with her, was advertised by Strutt & Parker in 2013 as land for potential re-development. A new planning application was submitted in August 2016 for “Demolition of existing side extension. Erection of 2 x 4-bed semi-detached dwellinghouses (Use Class C3). Provision of new access with car parking for 2No. vehicles, private amenity space and bin and cycle store”:

Two earlier planning applications were submitted and then withdrawn:

(1) July 2015 for “Demolition of existing side extension. Erection of 2 x 5-bed dwellings (Use Class C3). Provision of dropped kerb, car parking, private amenity space and bin stores”:

(2) December 2014: An earlier planning application with an identical description:

According to the “Our Property” website, 14 Holyoake Road sold for £1,600,000 on 2 May 2008.

The name Hillsboro can be seen engraved over the downstairs window. Lewis must have been on his way up to this house when he was famously converted to theism in 1929 while on a bus going up Headington Hill.

In recent years there was a chiropractice at this house.

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities have been granted planning permission for a new four-storey building on the disused tennis courts (0.4 hectares) at the John Radcliffe Hospital. The site is bounded to the north by Hospital Car Park 2a, to the east and south by Woodlands Road, and to the west by the rear gardens of Sandfield Road.

At present the charity can only offer 17 rooms on the top floor of the children's hospital and cannot meet the demand. The approved application is for “Ronald McDonald House to provide 62 bedrooms including communal areas, admin facilities, plant and store rooms along with associated landscaping and drop off area”.

Care home application for Pullens Lane

Frontier Estates held a public exhibition on 27 July 2016 at St Anthony of Padua Church Hall of new plans for a 55-bed care home on the site of the present bungalow at 1 Pullen's Lane. They will be submitting updated plans to the city council's design review board:

They made two earlier applications for the home:

(1) The first application for “Demolition of existing house and flat. Erection of 55-bedroom care home facility on three levels, together with 17 car parking spaces, landscaping and associated works” was rejected in August 2014:

(2) The second application for “Demolition of the existing buildings and erection of a new 55 bedroom care home with associated landscaping, hardstanding and infrastructure” was withdrawn in May 2016.

St Luke's Hospital extension

A planning application for “Removal of the existing pitched roof, a new reception area with 2 additional bedrooms over, an off-site constructed second storey to house 20 new bedrooms and associated external works” was approved in September 2016:

New school proposed for Headington

The Chapel Street Community Schools Trust plans to open a new state-funded school with a Christian ethos in Headington in September 2018.

Latest editions of community newspapers

The city council's six regeneration areas have a community newspaper, and three of these areas are in the Headington district. See the latest editions here:

Geology of gravestones in Headington

A new book The Geology of Oxford Gravestones has geological trails in six Oxford cemeteries, including Headington Cemetery in Dunstan Road and St Andrew's churchyard. The cover shows a Garnet Gneiss headstone in Headington Cemetery.

Kindle versions of each cemetery section are available at £2.99 each (but colour pictures means you cannot view them on a Kindle Paperwhite).

Holy Trinity Church planning application

On 7 September 2016 the East Area Planning Committee approved the planning application by Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry for “Erection of single-storey extension to north elevation”:

The church withdrew an earlier planning application submitted in February 2015 so that pre-application discussions could be held with the planning officer.




For up-to-the-minute information:

follow @HeadingtonNews on Twitter

Events & meetings 2017

For fuller details, see the Events page

  • Fri 28 and Sat 29 Apr: Consultation events on new neuroscience building at the JR Hospital
  • Sat 29 Apr: Community Day at Ruskin College
  • Sat 29/Sun 30 Apr: Volunteer workday at Stansfeld Park
  • Tue 2 May: Meeting about possible development at Wick Farm
  • Thu 4 May: Local Elections & Referendum (see left)
  • Sat 6 May to Fri 30 Jun: Art exhibition at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
  • Wed 10 May: East Area Planning Committee
  • Sat 13 May: Grand opening of Manor Surgery: all invited
  • Sat 20 to Mon 29 May: Headington & Marston Artweeks
  • Sun 27 May: Seven Headington gardens open (NGS scheme)
  • Sat 3 & Sun 4 June: Headington Festival
  • Sun 25 June: Lye Valley Open Day AND Friends of Old Headington Gardens Open Day
  • Sat 9 July: Churches' FunDay in Bury Knowle Park
HeadingtonNews on Twitter:
Scroll down on inner panel for more tweets

Four shops to let in Headington centre in 2017
W.H. Smith

99 London Road

This shop was advertised for sale at £615,000 in March 2017:

Headington Post Office

142–144  London Road. Closed on 13 February 2016

The post office counter is now in the Co-op, but the previous postmaster reopened here temporarily on 18 November 2016 and started selling stationery etc. The building still appears to be available to rent via Chancellor's at £2,333 per calendar month:


73–75  London Road. Closed in November 2014

The former Morrison's shop at 73–75 London Road is available to rent leasehold at £60,000 per annum. The premises measure 1,893 sq. ft, and loading is only possible via the front of the shop. The owners have recently renovated the building, and businesses are understood to be interested:

Pet & Garden Stores

150a London Road. Closed on 27 February 2016

To let with the Central Business Agency at £19,500 per annum (reduced from £25,00), or offers in the region of £395,000 for freehold:

Vacant offices in Headington centre
Former Connells Estate Agents

137a London Road

A planning application was submitted in March 2017 to turn this office into a hot-food takeaway (17/00639/FUL).

This ground-floor office was vacated in May 2016 when Connells moved to larger premises at 129–133 London Road. The premises were offered for sale (offers in the region of £400,000); alternatively a new lease could be offered at a commencing rental of £27,500 per annum. There would be a restriction on not using the premises for estate agency, lettings, or financial services. Planning permission was granted in 1961 for this shop to be tacked on the end of the row of former Victorian houses called Westbourne Terrace (61/11381/A_H).

Offices above Lloyds Bank

The first-floor offices above Lloyds Bank at 87 London Road were being advertised to rent at £18,500 per annum, but this has come down to £12,500. The second floor of these offices is currently occupied by Nigel Grice & Associates

Expansion of Manor Surgery

The Manor Surgery in Osler Road opened its new extension in March 2017

The surgery, whose patient numbers rose by two thousand in the previous two years, was awarded £1.2million to extend its practice building to provide six new consultation rooms and two practice nurse rooms. It plans to offer space for an out-of-hours service and community-based clinics.

Planning applications for a two-storey extension and alterations to the existing car park were all in 2015:

First World War 100-year remembrances: 2017

32 Headington men died in 1917. They will be added here in the month before the anniversary of their death

February 1917

Poppy Serjeant Harry Dan Godfrey (21) of the Royal Fusiliers, a builder whose parents lived at 99 Lime Walk, killed in France on 17 February 1917 and buried at the Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt

Poppy Second Lieutenant Arthur Fry (24) of the OBLI, former undergraduate of Hertford College who lived at Boundary Cottage (at the south-east corner of present Headington School site) died at No. 5 Casualty Clearing Station in France on 28 February 1917 and buried at Bray-sur-Somme Military Cemetery.

Poppy Private (George) Richard Morris (35) of the OBLI, a gardener who grew up in Headington Quarry but lived with his wife and children in north Oxford, killed in France on 28 February 1917 and remembered on the Thiepval Memorial

March 1917

Poppy Private Aubrey Gurl (21) of the OBLI, a printer's labourer of Quarry High Street, killed in France on 3 March 1917, and buried at Hem-Monacu

Poppy Private Edwin Charles Edwards (20) of the Worcestershire Regiment, a former butcher's boy presumed to be of Headington Quarry, killed in France on 4 March 1917 and remembered on the Thiepval Memorial

Poppy Private Reginald Miles (31) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a coal porter of 41 New High Street, killed in France on 27 March 1917 and buried at the Tincourt New British Cemetery

April 1917

Poppy Lance-Corporal Albert Louch (21) of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who lived with his grandmother in Old High Street, killed in France on 9 April 1917

Poppy Lieutenant Harry Olivier Sumner Gibson (31) of the London Regiment, Assistant Inspector of the Board of Agriculture (Fisheries), a married man with two children who had grown up at the Rookery in Old Headington, killed near Gaza on 19 April 1917

Poppy Serjeant Walter George Herbert (26) of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, a married plasterer who grew up at 99 Windmill Road, killed in France on 19 April 1917

Poppy Private Alfred Robinson (27) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a married warehouseman with two children who lived in Holyoake Road, killed in France on 23 April 1917

Poppy Lieutenant John Percival Curtis Ashworth (25), who had been working on a sheep ranch in Australia but returned to England in 1915 to enlist and lived with his mother at 3 St Andrew's Road, killed in France on 28 April 1917

May 1917

Poppy Reginald Harry Neville Prior (22), described as a student in 1911, who lived at Highfield Park (later the Park Hospital) with his parents, died of pneumonia in France on 1 May 1917.

Poppy Private Albert Edward Oliver (29), boat builder, who was living with his wife's parents at 17 New High Street when he was killed in France on 3 May 1917.

Poppy Richard John Kimber (18), machine-room feeder at Oxford University Press, who died of cerebrospinal fever while in training in Tidworth, Wiltshire on 11 May 1917.

Offices/studio becoming flats

Nielsen's development

Nielsen's, which has been on its present site on the London Road near the Thornhill Park & ride for 60 years, sold their 12-acre site to developers in 2016 and will be moving to the Oxford Business Park by early 2018.

Since May 2014 the conversion of B1(a) commercial property to C3 homes can be granted immediately under permitted development rights as long as specified aspects (such as transport and highway impacts, and contamination and flooding risks) are checked first. In December 2016 prior approval was granted to Headington Developments Ltd for “Change of use of Nielsen House and annex from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 30 x 1-bed flats and 63 x 2-bed flats”.

An earlier application was rejected because the developer provided insufficient information relating to flooding and contamination risks:

New applications for flats in 2017
Kingsway House

An application by London & Cambridge Properties relating to the offices above Kingsway House, 77a–81C London Road for “Change of use of from office at first floor level (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 2 x 2-bed flats” was approved in March 2017. These offices are above Coco Noir, The Garden, and the Cancer Research UK charity shop and are at present occupied by Ferguson Bricknell Solicitors.

Dance Inspires studio

A planning application has been submitted to turn Headington's pole-dance school at 112 London Road into a one bedroomed flat. (The rest of the premises above Savers was granted permission to be turned into two flats in 2016.)

Seven earlier applications

Three other conversions have already taken place in Headington under this new relaxation of planning permission, including Kennett House.

In addition approval was granted in 2016 for four more smaller offices in the Headington shopping centre to be turned into flats:

Pub News
The Chequers

A planning application (part retrospective) has been approved for “Removal of window and section of external wall. Replacement with 1no. entrance door incorporating pitched roof porch over and alterations to the existing front entrance”. This will allow customers to enter the Aziz restaurant without passing through the pub:


Planning application 16/02112/FUL was approved in November 2016 to turn this pub in Glebelands into a five-bedroomed house.

Crown & Thistle

This pub in Old Road closed in 2011. Fleurets advertised it as a pub to let (guide rent of £22,500 per annum) in early 2016, but the advertisement has now been withdrawn.

Meanwhile three four-bedroomed houses have been built on the car-park:

Ampleforth Arms

The planning application by Box Development Management Ltd submitted in December 2016 for the Ampleforth Arms pub at 53 Collinwood Road, Risinghurst was approved at the East Area Planning Committee meeting on 8 MARCH 2017. This is for: “Part demolition of the existing public house. Part redevelopment and conversion to create a new community run public house at basement and ground floor level and 3 x 2-bed and 3 x 3 bed residential apartments over ground, first and second floors. Erection of 1 x 3-bed dwellinghouse (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, landscaping, car parking and associated infrastructure”:

The Amp Revival group, which got the pub listed as an asset of community value and has been raising funds to save it, was involved in this application.

The pub was built by Ind Coope in 1938, and was the local of C. S. Lewis. It is currently boarded up, and was put up for sale with offers of £625,000 + VAT invited (reduced from the original £700,000 + VAT).

Royal Standard

The Royal Standard has had a planning application approved for "Formation of decked area to north elevation. Replacement of decking at rear to create new decked access and a lean-to covered area. Provision of enclosed bin store" has been approved:

A second application for "Formation of timber raised decking with glass guarding with stainless steel handrail" was withdrawn:

Quarry Gate (site of)

An appeal is in progress against the East Area Planning Committee's refusal of planning permission in September 2016 for “Erection of three storey building to provide 1 x 1-bed, 3 x 2-bed and 2 x 3-bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of car parking and bin and cycle storage”;

An earlier application for three five-bedroomed houses was also refused:

The Quarry Gate pub at 19 Wharton Road (on the corner of St Leonard's Road) was demolished in 2015. No member of the public sought to get it listed as a heritage or community asset, and Seville Developments were told that prior approval for the method of demolition was not required for the method of demolition”: 15/00591/DEM.

The developer gave as the reason why demolition needed to take place: “To facilitate future redevelopment of the site”. They stated in their application:
The Quarry Gate is a former public house located on the corner of Wharton Road and St Leonards Road in Headington. The building is not listed. The proposed demolition does not constitute “relevant demolition” for the purposes of s.196D of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as the site is not located within a Conservation Area. Oxford City Council has no Article 4 Direction in place which prevents the operation of the GPDO in respect of demolition.

This pub was for sale for a very long time (with its price latterly reduced from £899,000 to £775.000) and was bought by Seville Developments for £600,000 in mid-2013. Internal work on the building took place in January 2014 and until now Seville have been using it as their offices.

Old Road Campus/Churchill & Park Hospitals
Link Street

A planning application has been approved to form a Link Street around the campus:

Sobell House

The Sobell House Charity plans to build a new specialist facility at the Churchill Hospital aimed at patients with more complex illnesses such as dementia. It will overlook Southfield Golf Course and cost £5m.

New Heart Centre

A new £45m heart centre, jointly run by the University of Oxford and the British Heart Foundation, is planned for 2018.

Bioescalator/Amenities Building

Planning application was approved by the East Area Planning Committee on 3 June. This was for

  • 15/00996/RES: “Erection of Bioescalator/Amenities Building, together with landscaping and ancillary works. (Part reserved matters of outline planning permission 12/02072/OUT relating to Plot B4, seeking approval of appearance, landscaping, scale and layout.)”.
Big Data Institute

The Big Data Institute will develop approaches for generating, storing, and analysing large datasets in medical science for a better understanding of human disease and its treatment. The following planning application was approved by the East Area Planning Committee on 6 August 2014:

  • 14/01586/RES: “Erection of medical research building (Big Data Institute) on 3 levels plus basement and plant enclosure at roof level, together with landscaping and ancillary works. (Part reserved matters of outline planning permission 12/02072/OUT relating to plot B5, seeking approval of appearance, landscaping, scale and layout)”
  • Oxford Mail, 8 August 2014:
    World's first Big Data Institute given go-ahead
  • Oxford Mail, 20 June 2014:
    £45m data institute plan sets sail

Following a consultation in May 2014, the University reduced the size of the planned Big Data Institute:

The outline planning application submitted by the University of Oxford relating to the integration and development of the 28-acre Park Hospital site (which it now owns) with its Old Road Campus in Headington was approved at the East Area Planning Committee meeting on 8 January 2013.

Car Park

There will be a 459-space multi-storey carpark (replacing the current 260 spaces, so the net increase is 199 spaces) built on the Old Road Campus.

Two applications for a temporary 100-space car park while work is going ahead were approved:

  • 14/01494/FUL: “Demolition of various vacant prefabricated building. Retention of one prefabricated building plus the construction of 3 storey research building, catering building, 100 space car park and ancillary work for temporary period during construction of proposed Big Data Institute (BDI) Building on adjacent land”
  • 15/00996/RES: “Construction of 100 space temporary car park, together with ancillary works and new vehicular access from Roosevelt Drive during construction of Bioescalator/Amenities Building on adjacent land”
Precision Cancer Medicine Institute

Universities, Science, and Cities Minister Greg Clark visited the Old Road campus on 23 October 2014 and announced that a new £110m cancer centre, the Precision Cancer Medicine Institute is planned to open in 2017 or 2018 on the Churchill Hospital site or the Old Road campus. It will have 200 workers and will study drug, surgery, and radiation therapy in cancer patients.

Repatriation tributes in Headley Way

The John Radcliffe Hospital houses the Armed Forces Department of Pathology, and when members of the forces are killed their bodies are taken there. The funeral cortège passes through Marsh Lane and Headington on their way to the hospital. From March 2008 to May 2014 the Royal British Legion, joined by members of the public, held 153 repatriation tributes for 321 members of the services outside St Anthony of Padua Church in Headley Way, but thankfully such repatriations are at present rare.

There was a campaign for a memorial to be put on the roundabout at the Final Turn to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Sign up on the official Oxfordshire County Council website to be notified of any future repatriation dates and times:

Can’t find a news item?

Older news items are moved to separate pages. Links to news pages from 2001 to 2016 can be found at the foot of this page.

Phone masts in Headington

Headington has numerous mobile phone masts, and the link below shows where they are.

HMO legislation

Since 24 February 2012, Oxford City Council regulations have required that a house with just three or four unrelated occupants is licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation.

This is in addition to the prerequisite that such a house must have C4 planning permission, which is unlikely to be granted in future in those side-streets already saturated with student housing.

HMO licences for these smaller houses are awarded subject to modifications being made within six months (e.g. a cooker now has to have a work-surface on each side; there must be a wired in smoke-detector on each floor and a heat detector in the kitchen; the kitchen area must be fitted with a fire door; and where the front door can be double-locked, a box with key and hammer has to be attached to the wall).

Bike repairs

Bob Williams, formerly of Headington’s G. H. Williams, is still doing bike repairs from home in central Headington: tel. 01865 762664 or mobile 07962 896 663. He has fifty years’ experience of repairing bikes and is strongly recommended.

Headington city council ward

City councillors Ruth Wilkinson and Altaf Khan have a website with news relating to the central Headington ward. As their ward includes most of the central shopping area, it will also be of interest to people in other parts of Headington.

Headington Action revised grant schemes

Headington Action can provide small grants for projects that will benefit the local community.  There are two types of grant: Small Sparks Grants offer start-up funding, typically to enable new projects to ‘get off the ground’, while Community Support Grants provide for other community activities.  Normal limits are £250 for Small Sparks and £500 for Community Support Grants. 

Application forms and further details are available here on the Headington Action website.

Park & Ride for John Radcliffe Hospital?

The county council has said that green-belt land close to Marsh Lane and the northern bypass is being considered for a park-and-ride site for the JR Hospital.

New development at Northway

Construction of the new development at Northway started on 14 January 2015. The building work is being carried out by Haboakus (Kevin McCloud’s development company Hab in partnership with the housing association GreenSquare). Oxford City Council is providing land in Northway for the developers, who in return are rebuilding Northway community centre, and providing 47 new homes in Dora Carr Close and 21 flats in Westlands Drive. The Emmaus Charity furniture store moved to Cowley in May 2016.

The two Northway planning applications for the £18m regeneration project in Northway and Cowley were approved by the East Area Planning Committee on 5 June 2013; and the Planning Review Committee approved the associated Cowley application on 25 June:

  • 12/03280/FUL Demolition of existing buildings. Erection of 47 residential units (9 x 1-bed, 14 x 2-bed, 15 x 3-bed, 4 x 4-bed, 5 x live/work units) plus community centre in 5 blocks on 2, 3 and 4 levels. Provision of 78 car parking spaces, 102 cycle parking spaces and landscaping
  • 12/03281/FUL Demolition of existing building. Erection of 21 flats (14 x 1-bed, 7 x 2-bed) on 3 floors, together with 21 car parking spaces, 56 cycle spaces and landscaping.
Letting out driveways for parking

In July 2015 JustPark wrote to nearly every household in Headington suggesting that they could earn £1500 a year renting out their driveway. A search for "Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom" on their website reveals that over 100 people in the area were already doing this with them:

Prices range from £3.80 per day for Spring Lane and Bayswater Road to £21.30 per day for Old Road.

Similar companies are also operating in the area: ParkLet and Your Parking Space and Park on My Drive.

Heritage Assets in Headington

Oxford City Council is compiling a register of heritage assets of local value. Nothing in Headington has yet been registered as a Heritage Asset, but the following (listed under North East Oxford) are live candidates on the waiting list:

  • All Saints Church, Lime Walk
  • Coach House to Dorset House, London Road
  • No. 58 Old Road (All Saints Vicarage)
  • Wall of Warneford Hospital fronting Warneford Lane
  • Hillsboro, No. 14 Holyoake Road  
  • Cuckoo Lane
  • 6 Perrin Street (New Headington Infant School) and 18 Windsor Street (schoolmistress's house).

Oxford City Council Heritage Asset Register

Property in Headington owned offshore

Private Eye has put online an interactive map showing all English and Welsh property acquired by overseas companies since 2005.

If you search for Headington, you will see that some large properties in the centre of Headington such as Kennett House and Dorset House are owned abroad, as well as some smaller ones such as those occupied by the NatWest Bank, Starbucks, and Boots. There are also individual houses (including houses in multiple occupation) owned in the British Virgin islands.