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Headington News: Friday 27 May, 2016

Heat pipe between JR and Churchill hospitals

Vital Energi has withdrawn its planning application for the heat pipe between the JR and Churchill Hospitals, and will submit a new one following the results of their public consultation. The exhibition boards exhibited on 18 May 2016 can be seen here, as well as an online feedback form (comments must reach the Hospitals Trust by Friday 27 May 2016).

The proposed route now goes down Latimer Road as before, but then continues down Lime Walk instead of Stapleton Road. The Trust has engaged Turleys as planning consultants:

This £14.8 million Hospital Energy Project to upgrade the heating and hot-water systems that supply the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals started in the John Radcliffe grounds in November 2015.

The work includes a pair of 1.5 km heat transfer pipes in a two-metre-wide trench under the road running from the JR to the Churchill via Woodlands Road, Sandfield Road, Latimer Road, and Lime Walk (crossing under the London Road, All Saints Road, and Old Road). Two teams will work simultaneously, one from the JR to All Saints Road, and one from All Saints Road to the Churchill Hospital.

Work started on laying the hospital heat pipes in the streets of Headington (All Saints Road) on Monday 4 January 2016 but was suspended on 6 January. The Strategic Manager for the County Highway Network told Vital Energi to reinstate the road with a temporary surface, and this was completed on 8 January. Contractors Vital Energi had been granted a Section 50 licence by Oxfordshire County Council under the New Roads & Street Works Act (NRSWA) 1991, which enables organizes to install works in the Highways Agency's Strategic Roads Network. On 5 January 2016, however, the Head of Planning & Regulatory Services at Oxford City Council sent this letter to Vital Energi stating that in addition to this licence, planning permission was required for the works to install the energy transfer equipment and apparatus on behalf of the Trust.

Developments near the Lye Valley
Town Furze

There is currently a proposal to build four houses directly above the Lye Valley South Fen, on the land to the west of 75 Town Furze:

Warren Crescent

On 30 March 2016 the Planning Review Committee voted 7:2 in favour of development on land east of Warren Crescent:

The plans are for “Erection of 10 x 3-bed dwellings (use class C3) together with associated car parking, cycle and bin storage. Diversion of public footpath”.

Plans for 52 new homes near Waynflete Road

The following planning application has been submitted by Cala Homes (Chiltern) Ltd to South Oxfordshire District Council relating to land at Bayswater Road and the rear of 39 & 41 Waynflete Road:

“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”

Consultation closed on 5 May 2016, and the target decision date is 22 June.

New “Access to Headington” consultation

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

A Cabinet Member decision on the TROs will be made by David Nimmo-Smith on Thursday 9 June 2016, and construction is expected to take place between July/August 2016 and spring 2018.

The county council's latest designs for “Access to Headington” project 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:

The earlier (2015) plans

In 2015 the county council held a preliminary consultation on this £12.5m package of transport improvements for the Headington area (from Marsh Lane to Horspath Driftway and the Eastern bypass, including Old Road):

 

“Connecting Oxfordshire” project

This separate consultation by Oxfordshire County Council on its “Connecting Oxfordshire: Local Transport Plan 2015–2031” closed on 2 April 2015.

This plan includes new hospital routes for the “eastern arc” (from Cowley to Headington), and the most controversial idea in the consultation is probably the schematic “super premium transport route” running northwards along Lye Valley road and across the Lye Brook into the south-east corner of the Churchill Hospital site

The consultation documents are still online: see especially the maps of bus routes on pages 10 and 12 (numbers refer to the numbers in the lower right corner) of the consultation document Connecting_Oxfordshire_vol_2_section_i__OTS which show a schematic ‘super premium transport route’ running across the Lye Brook into the south-east corner of the Churchill Hospital site.

New shops and businesses in Headington 2016

Aziz Indian Restaurant

The Aziz Restaurant (established 1990 and judged one of the top ten Indian restaurants in the south-east) moved from the Cowley Road to the Chequers Inn at Quarry just before Easter 2016.

Card Factory

The Card Factory opened at 102 London Road (next to the Windmill Fair Trade shop) on 1 April 2016. This shop was formerly occupied by Johnson's Cleaners (closed 5 February 2015). It was advertised to let with Lambert Smith Hampton at an annual rent of £27,000 (£365 per sq.m). Renovation took place in June/July 2015.

Connells

Connells Estate Agents appear to be in the process of moving from 137a London Road to the larger premises at 129–133 London Road vacated by Allen & Harris in January 2016

Ice cream parlour

Adria Gelateria Italiana is now open at 5 Simon House, Windmill Road. An application has been temporarily approved for three years for "Change of use of vacant unit to ice cream parlour (Use Class A1/A3) with provision of seating for 18–24 people and alterations to shop front. Erection of delivery cabin at rear (Part retrospective)".

The principle of the change of use from A1 fails to comply with policy RC4 of the Oxford Local Plan, and the Local Planning Authority will reassess the situation in three years' time.

Customers shall not be present for consumption on or off the premises before 7am or after 9pm.

This shop was formerly Osheey Afro-Caribbean Groceries (closed September 2015), and before that Da Root Hairdressing.

Savers Hair and Beauty

Savers Health & Beauty is planning to move into the former Trade Exchange shop at 112 London Road, and has submitted two planning applications, namely (1) “Display of 1No. internally-illuminated fascia sign and 1 No. internally-illuminated hanging sign” and (2) “Replacement shop front”.

An earlier planning application for “Change of use from Retail (Use Class A1) to mixed use (Retail (Use Class A1) and Restaurant/cafe (Use Class A3)) at ground floor level” was refused:

GVA originally advertised the business with a commencing rental of £48,500 per year; it was then advertised by JRBT Commercial Property, with a reduced rent of £45,000:

Local election results, May 2016

Each city council ward in Oxford elected one councillor on 5 May 2016 to serve a four-year term until May 2020. The results in the Headington & Marston area were as follows:

  • Barton & Sandhills: Mike Rowley (Labour & Co-operative) re-elected
  • Churchill: Mark Lygo (Labour) re-elected
  • Headington: Ruth Wilkinson (Liberal Democrat) re-elected
  • Headington Hill & Northway: Nigel Chapman (Labour) in place of Roy Darke (Labour), who has retired
  • Marston: Mick Haines (Independent) re-elected
  • Quarry & Risinghurst: Chewe Munkonge (Labour) re-elected.

Detailed results for all the city council wards:

Pullen’s Lane

 

Pullen's End for sale

Pullen's End is currently for sale for £5 million:

This house was built in 1883/4 for Patrick Arkley Henderson, Fellow of Wadham College, and from 1980 to 2006 it was occupied by the historian James Howard-Johnston and his wife, the novelist Angela Huth.

When the house was last put up for sale In 2006, the Church of England planned to buy the house for £2.5 million as a palace for the Bishop of Oxford, but the deal fell through because the church commissioners discovered that there was a covenant preventing offices from being built in its 1.7 acre garden, and it remained in private ownership:

Care home in Pullens Lane?

The second application by Frontier Estates for a care home on the site of the bungalow at 1 Pullens Lane was withdrawn in May 2016. It was for “Demolition of the existing buildings and erection of a new 55 bedroom care home with associated landscaping, hardstanding and infrastructure”.

An earlier application by them for a care home on the site was rejected in August 2014.

EF
International Academy (west side of lane)

EF was intending back in 2013 to draw up new plans for the EF International Academy, based at Cotuit Hall on the west side of Pullen’s Lane, after they withdrew planning application 12/01106/FUL following concerns expressed by local residents, but so far nothing has happened:

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).

West Waddy unveiled their plans to redevelop the Cotuit Hall site at two open community events on 2/3 March and 20/21 April 2012, and the withdrawn planning application submitted in May 2012 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”.

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.

EF Language School (east side of lane)

The EF Language School was required (under the granting of planning permission 07/02499/FUL) to provide public art. Their application 11/00034/VAR to delete this requirement was refused on 7 March 2011.

They then submitted application 13/00284/VAR (1) to legitimize the delay and (2) to reveal their design for a marble seat inside their grounds (the former Plater College). The former part of the application was approved on 12 April, but the public art shown on the plans was not approved.

Car Park extensions
Bury Knowle Park

Oxford City Council is proposing to extend the tiny car park at the North Place entrance to Bury Knowle Park and introduce parking charges. At present spaces there are often filled by workers, shoppers, or commuters.

Margaret Road Recreation Ground

Oxford City Council submitted a planning application in March 2016 for the demolition of the existing sports pavilion and the erection of a new one. The original proposals include a car park for five cars (including two disability spaces), one light goods/public carrier vehicle space, and 16 cycle spaces. A People Park Not Car Park group was formed to oppose this new car park, and in April revised drawings were substituted (see under Documents tab):

Former Headington Post Office site
(1) Post Office move to Co-op

Headington Post Office moved to its new location in the Co-op on Monday 15 February. It has extended opening hours for selected services (7am to 10pm on Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday), with full service from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm. The former Post Office is vacant and being advertised to rent as an A1 retail shop.

(2) Hookah (Shisha) bar planning application

The planning application by Ms S. Valiyeva for the area behind Headington Post Office was refused. This was for “Demolition of existing garage. Change of use into Shisha Bar (Sui Generis). Erection of soundproof fencing and WC. Provision of canopy and formation of seating area. Rear of 142 to 144 London Road, Headington”.

(3) HMO planning application

A planning application relating to a different area to the west behind Headington Post Office has been approved, namely: “Conversion of 2 x 2-bed residential units (Use Class C3) into House in Multiple Occupation (Sui Generis)” :

(4) BBB Stores

This shop at 142 London Road, which was carved out of Headington Post Office when the latter ceased to be a Crown Post Office in the 1990s, was redecorated at the end of 2015 but is not yet occupied.

Tower blocks in Northway and Wood Farm

The city council is refurbishing Oxford's five tower blocks, including Plowman Tower in Northway and Foresters Tower in Wood Farm. Almost 300 council tenants will pay nothing, but the 51 leaseholder families/individuals who own their own flats will have to pay £40,000 to £60,000 each for the same refurbishments.

Residents think the charges are unreasonable, and an Oxford Tower Block Leaseholders Association has been formed. This now has a new chairman, Darren Hazell, and a Thame-based solicitor is organizing a barrister to represent the leaseholders at a forthcoming tribunal.

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.

Stansfeld Centre, Quarry Road

The Oxford Trust (Science Oxford) announced on 2 February that it had completed the acquisition of the Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre:

On 27 October 2015 the Oxford Trust 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.

Waitrose

The Headington Waitrose has had planning applications for an outdoor seating area in Old High Street and banners approved:

Latimer Road: 175 student rooms

The demolition of four houses on the west corner of Latimer Road and London Road is due to start on 31 May in preparation for the building of Beech House, which will accommodate 175 students.

A new planning application has been submitted “to enable the student accommodation to be occupied by cultural and academic visitors and by conference and summer school delegates outside of term time”:

This relates to the following approved application, submitted by Frontier Estates (Oxon) Ltd in March 2015, with the following (amended) description:
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.

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 planning application for this development 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.

The developers 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.

Expansion of Manor Surgery

The Manor Surgery in Osler Road, whose patient numbers have risen by 2000 in the last two years, has been 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 have both been approved.

More flats and houses proposed for Headington
(1) 4 Lime Walk

“Erection of a two storey building to create 4 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of 2 No. carparking spaces, private amenity space, bin and cycle store.”

(2) Margaret Road garage

The planning application for this site, which is owned by the Doris Field Charitable Trust, has been refused. The plans including a rebuilt garage as before, plus six flats:
“Demolition of existing garage and workshop. Erection of three storey building to provide 3 x 2-bed and 3 x 3-bed flats (Use Class C3). Erection of garage together with 6no. car parking spaces.”

(3) 73 Barton Road

The following planning application has been refused: “Demolition of existing garage. Erection of building to form 1 x 1bedroom dwellinghouse (Use Class C3). Formation of first floor level to existing dwellinghouse and subdivision into 1 x 2 bedroom and 1 x 3 bedroom dwellinghouses (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, car parking spaces and bin and cycle store”:

Curry's being replaced by Aldi

The planning application by Aldi relating to the Curry's store in Horspath Driftway has been approved:

Barton Park

Planning permission for 237 residential units in the first phase of the development was approved on 2 March 2015:

Changes in local government rules have forced the city council to consider whether to transfer its £52.3m stake in Barton Park – for 354 council homes – to a housing association or a new housing company:

In November 2015 work started in Northway, where the access road for buses and emergency vehicles to and from Barton Park will join the northern bypass, following tree-felling on both sides of the northern bypass in April 2015:

Work on the main Barton Park development started on 13 May 2015, marked by a groundbreaking ceremony:

The firm Hill, which specializes in environmentally friendly homes, will build the first 237 houses of the 885 houses planned for the site.

The infrastructure plans 14/03201/RES were approved on 11 February 2015, and the first residents are expected to move in during 2017.

The main road will be called Barton Fields Road, and the other streets will be named after flora and fauna and people with a strong connection to Barton, including Vashti de Montfort Wellborne, John Boyce, and Barry Holden.

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

Brookes developments

The East Area Planning Committee approved the following major planning application at its meeting on 6 January 2016:

Refurbishment of part of University campus consisting of:
1. Demolition of existing main hall and lecture theatre
2. Construction of replacement main hall.
3. Overcladding and refurbishment of Sinclair Building.
4. Removal of elevation and recladding and refurbishment of Clerici and former library buildings.
5. Replanning of forecourt, car park and landscaped area to Gipsy Lane frontage.

A separate planning application to replace the side extension of the Sinclair Annexe Building, and to re-clad it, was approved in 2015:

On 12 January 2015 Oxford Brookes announced a ten-year estate investment plan costing an average of £13m per annum. This includes moving all teaching, research and support activity from the Wheatley campus to the Headington site.

The Faculty of Business (2,500 students) will move into the Clerici Building in 2016/17. The Faculty of Technology, Design, and Environment provision (TDE) will move from Wheatley to Headington by 2021/22, and there may be some new building.

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:

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.

Headington Neighbourhood Plan

The draft Headington Neighbourhood Plan 2016–2031 was launched at the Headington Festival on 30 May 2015. The link below leads to the online plan in pdf format, and also tells you the five places in Headington you can see a paper copy.

The preliminary consultation closed on 16 July 2015.

29 Old High Street

29 Old High Street

Oxford City Council had to ask Oxford Magistrates Court to dismiss their charges against Martin Young for not acting on the March 2011 enforcement notice when they realized the prosecution was timed out. The case was due to be held on 12 March 2015.

 

 

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Forthcoming events
  • Sat 28 May: Ruskin Community Day
  • Tue 31 May: Headington Ward Focus Meeting
  • Wed 1 Jun: Over 50s Club: Talk on the Lye Valley fens
  • Sat 4 & Sun 5 Jun: Headington Festival
  • Wed 8 Jun: East Area Planning Committee
  • Thu 9 Jun: Access to Headington decision meeting
  • Sun 12 Jun: Risinghurst & Sandhills Community fete
  • Sun 12 Jun: Yoga in the Park for Maggie's
  • Sun 19 Jun: Abseil for charity down the JR
  • Sun 26 Jun: Friends of Old Headington Open Gardens

For full details of the above, see the Events page

HeadingtonNews on Twitter:
Scroll down on inner panel for more tweets

Vacant premises in Headington centre 2016
Bar Meze

146 London Road. Closed April 2015

This restaurant was repossessed by the landlords, Khushi Properties, on Monday 25 April 2016

BBB Stores

142 London Road. Closed mid-2015

This was redecorated at the end of 2015 and a food cabinet was delivered, but it remains closed.

Headington Post Office

142–144  London Road. Closed on 13 February 2016

Iron Bed Company

80–86 London Road
Closed 20 April 2016

Advertisement with Carter Jonas

Morrisons

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.

Pet & Garden Stores

150a London Road. Closed on 27 February 2016

 

Vacant offices in Headington centre
Offices above Lloyds Bank

The first-floor offices above Lloyds Bank at 87 London Road are available to rent for £18,500 per annum. The second floor is now occupied by Nigel Grice & Associates

Empty shop near the centre

Barclays Antiques at 107 Windmill Road is for sale: price £795,000

First World War 100-year remembrances: 1916

31 Headington men died in 1916 and will be added here
on the 100th anniversary of their death

February 1916

Poppy Sapper Raymond Jacobs (26) of the Royal Engineers, a stonemason of Magdalen College who lived in St Leonard's Road and died at Loos on 7 February 1916: buried at the Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery

March 1916

Poppy Private Harry Smith (17) of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, wounded in France on 8 December 1915 and died there on 4 March 1916: buried in the Lapugnoy Military Cemetery

April 1916

Poppy Private John Tolley (29) of the OBLI, career soldier, of New Inn Cottages on the London Road died in Mesopotamia on 3 April 1916: buried in the Knut War Cemetery

Poppy Private Ernest James Butler (20) of the Wiltshire Regiment, a page-boy in a shop's refreshment department whose parents moved to 59 Windmill Road, died in Mesopotamia on 9 April 1916: buried in Amara War Cemetery

May 1916

Poppy Private Arthur George Tolley (32) of the OBLI, a married gardener whose parents lived in Holyoake Road, killed in action in France on 5 May 1916, and buried in the Hébuterne Military Cemetery.

Poppy Driver Harry Goodgame (23) of the Royal Engineers, a building labourer of Bateman Street, killed in Belgium on 7 May 1916: buried in the Brandhoek Military Cemetery.

Poppy Private George William Atkinson (31) of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, an attendant at the Warneford who lived in New High Street, married with one son, killed in France on 15 May 1915: no known grave

Poppy Private Gerald Judge (26) of the Royal Fusiliers, a regular soldier whose wife lived at 49 Windmill Road, killed in France on 24 May 1916: buried in the Zouave Valley Cemetery

Headington items on That's Oxford TV, 2016
B56 applications turning offices to flats

B56 applications (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.

Six office buildings in or near the centre of Headington have been subject to B56 applications as follows (most recent first):

Offices above 114 London Road

A planning application submitted by Mr M. Ahmed of Harberton Mead in relation to this office above the Cancer Research UK shop at 114 London Road has been approved. It was for determination as to whether prior of the Council is required and, if required, whether it should be granted, for the following: “Change of use from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 1 x 2bedrooms flat.”

The office is currently occupied by Absolute Events Solutions.

Offices above the former Morrison's

The B56 planning application relating to the offices on the top two floors of 73 & 75 London Road (Charterford House) has been withdrawn. It was for determination as to whether prior of the Council is required and, if required, whether it should be granted, for the following: “Change of use of first and second floors from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to 2 x 1-bed and 2 x 2-bed apartments”.

The offices are currently occupied by:
Cox Hinkins & Co accountants
The Letting Centre (TLC)
Fisepa 187 Ltd

Upstairs and rear of The Hub, 125 London Road

A planning applications submitted by Farooq Ghulam on 21 December 2015 relating to the rear offices and the first floor of the Headington Hub has been approved, namely : “Change of use from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 2 x studio flats and 1 x 1-bed flat” [i.e. one bedroom fewer in the flat:

An earlier B56 application submitted (15/02432/B56) on 10 August 2015 was refused. It was for: “Change of use from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 2 x studio flats (Use Class C3) and 1 x 2 bed flats (Use Class C3)”.

Kennett House

Planners granted Clerkenwell Properties Ltd the prior approval necessary for the change of use of Kennett House (the two floors of offices above the Iceland block) to provide 12 residential units. The work, which must be completed by 30 May 2016, started in October 2015. These flats will be excluded from eligibility for residents' parking permits. A second application was also approved for “Installation of render system to front, side and rear elevations. Replacement and alterations of windows at first and second floors. Formation of parapet to flat roof”:

A third planning application submitted in August 2015 (15/02323/FUL) for “Erection of a third storey to create 4 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3) with associated terraces to front, side and rear elevations. Provision of bin and cycle store and rear external means of escape” was withdrawn in October 2015.

These offices, most recently occupied by Oxford Brookes University, have had many uses, including serving as the Driving Test Theory Centre for Oxford until c.2003.

The freehold of Kennett House was sold for £2,500,000 on 3 December 2012 at an Allsop auction. The shops on the ground floor comprise the HSBC Bank, Iceland, and two charity shops (with the longest remaining lease being that of Bejam, which underlets its shop to Iceland): this has a 63-year lease dating from Christmas Day 1963, which therefore reverts in 2026.

John Leon House, 138–140 London Road

A planning application by Fisepa 187 Ltd of Headington relating to the offices above the Skipton Building Society for “Change of use from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 2 x 1-bed flats” was approved in July 2014:

74 Lime Walk

A planning application by Linfield Construction (the occupiers of the building for “Change of use of ground floor from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to form 1 x 2-bed flat” was approved in January 2015:

This property was a shop from at least 1891.


Premises above the former Trade Exchange shop

The situation is different here, as planning permission was obtained in 2011 to turn part of the premises above 112 London Road into a pole-dancing studio (D2), so it is not simply a B1 office. In any event, the planning application by Farcastle Ltd for “Change of use of first floor office accommodation/dance studio (Use Class B1/D2) to 2 x 1-bed and 1 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of bin and cycle store” was withdrawn on 22 August 2015:

Pub News
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 are being built on the car-park:

The Chequers

This pub and restaurant at 17A Beaumont Road, Headington Quarry was advertised for sale by Fleurets in early 2016, but the advertisement has now been withdrawn. The description stated: "The premises also offer potential for conversion to residential (subject to obtaining the necessary consents) and there is a potential building plot adjacent to the premises which is included."

Ampleforth Arms

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

The Amp Revival group has managed to get it listed as an asset of community value and is raising the money to buy it.

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

The planning application for three five-bedroomed houses on the site of the Quarry Gate pub at 19 Wharton Road (on the corner of St Leonard's Road) was refused:

The pub 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.

Bury Knowle Park stables & barn

Planning permission was granted in November 2013 for “Conversion of Bury Knowle Stables and Barn to 1 x 2-bed dwelling (stables) and 1 x 4-bed dwelling (barn) (Use Class C3). Provision of parking and bin and bicycle stores. Demolition of outbuilding and lean-to (amendments to planning permission 12/01605/CT3).”

The stables and barn were sold by Kemp & Kemp (offers in excess of £450,000 were invited).

The East Area Planning Committee approved the original plans on 6 September 2012 to convert these buildings into three two-bedroomed dwellings: 12/01605/CT3. (An earlier application was withdrawn pending a decision by English Heritage.)

The buildings belong to Oxford City Council, which in 2012 sold off its redundant property.

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:

Public art in Headington

Public art in Headington. Please email if you know of any more.

Islamic Studies Centre

The new Islamic Studies Centre on the Marston Road is still not open in 2016. It was originally expected to cost £60 million, but this proved to be £25 million short.

In 2012 the Centre for Islamic Studies made an offer to the City Council for Harcourt House on the Marston Road for student housing

Can’t find a news item?

Older news items are moved to separate pages. Links to news pages from 2001 to 2015 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.

“Charity” clothes collections

Despite having so many charity shops, central Headington has since 2006 been targeted by commercial firms asking people to give all the spare clothes they have for them to sell to the poor.

Some charities have now linked with these commercial firms, but they only get a proportion of the proceeds.

All Saints Road/Lime Walk corner

The house at 73 Lime Walk was renovated and sold, but the old buildings in its back garden (facing All Saints Road) and the large warehouse behind (accessed from Lime Walk) were demolished in January 2012. These buildings were the former Burton’s dairy shop (which once housed Highfield Post Office) and its loading shed.

They are being replaced by two x 3/4-bedroom houses fronting Lime Walk and a two-storey office building fronting All Saints Road. This relates to planning application 11/00648/FUL by C. G. Burton and E. L. Woodhead for 73–81 Lime Walk. In April 2013 amendment 13/00174/FUL to that permission was approved.

An application for the erection of a two-storey office building (Use Class B1) at the rear of 73 Lime Walk (between 7 and 9 All Saints Road) was approved in September 2015:

The application to build a maisonette and two flats to the rear of 73 Lime Walk was withdrawn in May 2014:

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.

Holy Trinity Church planning application

Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry has temporarily withdrawn its planning application submitted in February 2015 for "Erection of single storey extension to north elevation" so that pre-application discussions may be held with the planning officer. It then intends to resubmit its application.

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.

Lock Court

Lock Court on the former city council depot site in Bury Knowle Park is nearing completion. It is named after Sir Joseph Lock who built Bury Knowle House, in whose grounds it stands. It is a car-free development with no parking and no residents' parking permits.

The flats are being let under Oxford City Council's Choice-Based lettings scheme. Details of the rents can be found here.

Planning application 13/01814/CT3 was approved by the East Area Planning Committee on Wednesday 4 September 2013 with extra conditions and informatives proposed by Cllrs Rundle & Wilkinson. It was for "Erection of 2 x 1-bed, 7 x 2-bed and 1 x 3-bed residential units (use class C3) in 3 blocks arranged around central courtyard, together with covered cycle and bin stores, and landscaping". A second approved application 13/01815/CAC was for Conservation Area Consent to demolish the existing sheds, and a third 13/01814/CND2 referred to submission of details in compliance with conditions. (An earlier planning application 12/02622/CT3 was approved on 16 April 2012 but that decision was called in and then withdrawn.)

The solar panels

The solar panels in the roof of these flats had to be modified:

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. In addition people do it themselves via Gumtree.

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

Windmill Road developments
Dring's Yard development

The planning application submitted by Keble Homes for the old Dring's bus depot site (the burnt-out Richens Mobility building) at 2 Windmill Road (behind Simon House and Caffe Nero) has been approved. It is for: “Erection of three storey building to provide 2 x B1 units on the ground floor, 4 x 2 bedroom flats (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, cycle and bin storage.“

There have been three similar planning applications: the first two which proposed more flats for the site were rejected, and then 08/01282/FUL submitted by Neil Richens was approved in 2008 and was twice renewed.

Keble Homes announced in July 2014 that they had bought the site, and demolition work was completed in October 2014.

Richens Mobility occupied the site until 22 July 2006, when their workshop suffered a severe fire. They initially moved to the Roundway, but are now closed.

Bury Knowle Club

The Bury Knowle Club at 2D Windmill Road closed at the end of 2014. Situated above Leaders (formerly QB Management) and Salon Scandinavia, the club opened in 1933 and membership was for men only.

The premises (1,773 sq ft) were put up for sale by VSL & Partners at £300,000 freehold at the end of 2013, and planning permission was granted to Keble Homes to convert the premises into 2 x one-bed and 1 x two-bed flats.

Old Road Campus/Churchill & Park Hospitals
Link Street

A planning application has been submitted 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”
Cancer Research Centre

A new £138m cancer research centre is to be built near the Churchill Hospital and could be ready in 2016:

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.

Children's nursery on Old Road campus

The University of Oxford was granted permission at the end of 2014 to change the use of an office on the Old Road Campus to a children's nursery. The building is sited in The Triangle (just to the west of the former Park Hospital):

"Change of use of building from administrative office and teaching accommodation to children's nursery for a temporary period of up to 5 years, together with external alterations including provision of new external doors, external stairs and canopies. Surfacing of garden area to provide play area, and use of land and surfacing to provide 6 drop-off bays and 9 car-parking spaces. Provision of pram/buggy store."

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).