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HEADINGTON NEWS ARCHIVE for 2005

London Road traffic study

The County Council published its report on the London Road Study. Approach 2 (the closure of the London Road to private cars) was rejected, and Approach 1 (which remodels the London Road) was agreed in principle. The matter went forward as Item 7 of the Cabinet meeting of the County Council held on 15 November at 2pm.

Approach 1 (which will now be developed further) is designed to improve the situation for the level of existing traffic, principally by helping the bus flow with the introduction of some new shared cycle/bus lanes (with the removal of most pavement cycle lanes). The subway would be filled in and more pedestrian crossings installed, including a paved crossing area at the Kennett/Stephen Road junction. It includes plans for an Osler Road bus link.

Approach 2 (which was rejected) was designed to cope with an expected increase in traffic. It suggests the closure of the London Road between Kennett/Stephen Road and Windmill Road to private cars, thus diverting traffic via Windmill Road and Gipsy Lane to Old Road.

Central Headington CPZ

Full enforcement of the new Central Headington controlled parking zone finally started on Tuesday 7 June 2005. The new “HE” area stretches from the old Manor Ground in the west to Bury Knowle Park in the east, and from Old Headington in the north to Old Road in the south.

A new feature of this CPZ is the white access protection mark (WAP) painted across some residents’ driveways. This differs from a double yellow line in that although it still indicates that access is required at all times, a visitor with a parking permit is allowed to park on the line, thus increasing available parking spaces for residents.

End of No. 2 bus

The No. 2 bus service that used to go from Barton and Headington to the city centre and then on to Summertown and Kidlington ceased to run on 2 July 2005.

A new No. 8 bus now runs from Barton and terminates in Oxford. Passengers who wish to continue in the direction of Summertown with the Oxford Bus Company will now have to walk up to Magdalen Street to pick up a second bus, the Oxford to Kidlington service (which has retained the number 2). The return journey involves a walk from Magdalen Street down to Queen Street. In addition, two fares have to be paid, making the overall cost higher.

Similarly, the No. 22 from Risinghurst has become the 8A and terminates in Oxford.

Oxford Bus Company have made this move because buses that used to take ten minutes from Headington shops to the city centre can now take half an hour because of congestion, upsetting timings on the rest of the route.

Bus link to JR

The X13, which ran from Abingdon to the John Radcliffe Hospital, was axed in 2005, as not enough people were using it.

Quarry Methodist Church

The former Headington Quarry Methodist Church was advertised for sale by Thomas Merrifield in the Oxford Times of 3 December 2004. Priced at £250,000, it was billed as “of interest as a Community Facility or development opportunity”. Sealed bids have been received, and local residents hope that it will be sold to Wood Farm Community Church rather than to developers.

The last services at Headington Quarry Methodist Church took place on Sunday 12 September. The burial ground will remain the responsibility of the Methodist circuit and continue to be available for burials and visiting.

The Methodists of Quarry were the first nonconformists in Headington to open their own church in 1830, and the present building in Quarry High Street dates from 1860.

Cycling

Following the presentation on the perils of cycling in Headington by James Bloice Smith (Minister of Headington Baptist Church) at the Area Committee meeting in March, City Councillor Stephen Tall called on Oxfordshire County Council to make repairs of roads with cycle tracks a top priority and to ensure that Headington and Marston has a fully-integrated cycle route.

General Election

Andrew Smith held Oxford East for Labour in the General Election of May 2005, but with a hugely reduced majority: from 10,344 to 963.

Northway IT hub

The Northway IT Hub opened at 45 Westlands Drive, Headington on 18 March 2005. It provides internet access to local residents, and runs computer courses. Hub manager Marie Burden also planned to run e-mail and Internet taster classes and sessions for young people.

The project was funded by Oxfordshire County Council and UK Online.

Parking charge increase for JR

In an effort to persuade more staff at the JR to travel to work by bus, the amount they have to pay for parking there has quadrupled. Oxford City Council allowed expansion at the JR and Churchill sites only on condition that there was no increase in workers’ parking.

Death of Headington councillor

Sylvia Tompkins, Labour county councillor for the former Headington ward, has died.

Petition re further development in Headington

Marilyn Cox (Conservative candidate for the Headington & Marston ward in the County Council election in May) presented a petition to the Full City Council on 7 March. Initiated by the Central North Headington Residents’ Association and signed by 237 people, the petition reads:

”We, residents of the Headington area, propose that there should be a moratorium on any further developments applied for by hospitals, schools, universities or any other organisation, that would put additional pressure on the local transport system.”

On 14 April the number of signatures reached 1,107, and these were presented to Oxfordshire County Council’s Transport Implementation Committee

  • See article by Reg Little on front page of the Oxford Times of 11 March 2005: “Residents turn on university and hospitals”
Applications refused in 2005

Planning applications rejected by the North East Area Committee in 2005 included the following:

  • 04/02539/FUL: Subdivision of rear gardens at 139, 141 and 143 Windmill Road and erection of a two-storey block of 5x1 bedroom flats on three floors with a third floor in roof space.
  • 04/02479/OUT: Replacement of the bungalow at 8 Headley Way by 15 key-worker houses
  • 04/02488/FUL: Extensions to 61 Old Road to provide 8 new flats and 3 existing flats. (The appeal by the developers against the council’s decision not to allow permission for a new 3- and 2.5-storey building with twelve flats on the site was also turned down)
  • 04/02304/FUL: Replacement of St Ebba’s on the north side of Old Road (between Quarry Road and Stansfield Close) by 14 flats with 19 parking spaces
New Delicatessen

La Plaza delicatessen is now open at the former Chef’s Pantry shop at 113 London Road. The original plan to turn this shop into a restaurant failed after the city council refused to certify that the use of this shop for the sale of fast food (Class A3) was lawful (application 04/00942).

La Patisserie Imperial at 148 London Road gained permission to change from A1 to A3 status (applications 03/00489 and 04/00022), as it is outside the primary frontage area of the Headington shopping centre. It reopened as Yummy, a Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian café and take-away, bringing the total number of restaurants, cafés and hot-food take-aways in the centre of Headington to seventeen.

Headington Poetry Competition

This was held again in 2005

Framing shop closes

With Hummingbird Frames in receivership (see notice in the Oxford Times of 1 April 2005), Frames & Art at 97 London Road has closed.

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Pubs extend hours

The Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 24 November 2005, and many Headington pubs and restaurants now have extended licensing hours. A number of pubs have been granted a licence to stay open to midnight during the week and to 1am at weekends, but some of the extensions relate only to bank holidays.

The Black Boy in Old High Street, which applied to stay open until midnight on Sunday–Thursday and 2am on Friday and Saturday, has had its closing times set by the council at 11pm and midnight respectively. Its music and dance licence was restricted to 11pm on Monday–Saturday and 7pm on Sunday, and a noise survey must be completed before 24 November.

The White Hart in St Andrew’s Road applied for the following opening hours: Sun–Thu: 1am; and Fri & Sat: 3am. The inquiry reduced this to Sun–Thu: Midnight, and Fri & Sat: 1am, with the garden to be used only up to 11pm.

Sainsbury’s Local in Headington, however, has withdrawn its bid for a 24-hour licence after police requested that if the licence was agreed they should have uniformed security guards between midnight and six o’clock in the morning. It will now only be able to sell alcohol between 7am and 11pm.

Oxford Local Plan to 2015

This was adopted in 2005:

Story tree

The Story Tree in Bury Knowle Park was carved in spring 2005. The trunk of a dead cedar tree was turned into a sculpture featuring characters from the books of the Headington authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: the dragon Smaug from The Hobbit, Aslan the lion from The Chronicles of Narnia, and the horse from The Horse and His Boy.

The sculpted tree was unveiled by Graham Upton, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, at a ceremony on Wednesday 25 May 2005. BBC South television followed the progress of the work, which started on 26 April and took four weeks.

The project was organized by Headington Action following a positive response to a model of the proposed work that was put on display in Headington. The design was prepared and executed by local sculptor Matt Cave. Sponsors are Oxford Brookes University, Oxford University Press, and A.C. Nielson.

20’s Plenty

On 22 November 2005 at 3.45pm local residents staged a mid-afternoon “slow crossing” at the junction of Lime Walk and All Saints Road to encourage motorists to slow down.

Sandfield Road resurfacing

Before the city council had completed its resurfacing of Sandfield Road in August 2005, British Gas Transco started digging it up again.

Barton Pool
Headington Poetry Competition 2005

The Winners

Home Zone

In July 2005 the plan to make Stapleton Road a Home Zone was abandoned by the county council.

Accident on London Road

The London Road was closed for over two hours after an accident at about 12.50pm on Saturday 11 June 2005, and all traffic (including buses) was diverted via Lime Walk and Windmill Road. A police car rushing to an emergency in the direction of Oxford struck a car as it was overtaking, veered across the road through traffic coming in the other direction, and ended up on the wide pavement on the corner of Osler Road, demolishing a row of cycle racks, hitting a parked car, and only stopping when it hit the window frame of the Sun-Kissed Tanning Salon. The driver of the police car suffered back injuries and had to be cut out by firefighters, but no one else was hurt.

Clothes collections

Three firms regularly swoop on Headington, namely Kraslava Services Seven Ltd, Olonex and LDK Ltd leaving sacks and asking for unwanted clothes. What you donate to them, they sell to the Third World. Their leaflets are designed to be misleading.

On 14 February and 4 March IFDC Collections descended on Headington. These are rather different: although they sell the clothes you give them in Eastern Europe, they do at least use any profit to fund charity projects in London.

Headington has seven charity shops: please support them.

OBE for Headington author

Brian Aldiss was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list published on 11 June 2005.

Former Pollock House

Pollock House in Pullens Lane has reverted to a form of its old name, The Vines, and since early 2005 was occupied by SCIO (Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford), which is the UK Centre of the CCCU (Centre for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities). It is offered to let as student housing for Oxford summer school programmes, economical accommodation for conferences, or furnished sabbatical housing.

Flats plan withdrawn

Planning application 05/02037/FUL, which proposed the demolition of 36 Windmill Road (formerly Oxford Philanthropic) and the erection on the site of 4×two-bed and 2×one-bed flats, with the provision of two car-parking spaces to the frontage, was withdrawn.

New shop on London Road

Scott Fraser (residential lettings & property management) moved into the rebuilt shop at 77 London Road in mid-2005.

Scott Fraser has also sold five luxury one-bedroom flats on the top two floors of the development (Portus House) at prices ranging from £155,000 to £185,000.

The original planning permission granted for this four-storey building (03/01708/FUL) was for a retail unit on the ground floor, office unit on the first floor, and two more floors of flats. An amended application (05/00708/FUL) was approved to change the use of the ground floor from A1 (retail) to A2 (financial and professional services). This appears contrary to Oxford Local Plan policy COM13, which seeks to ensure that the proportion of units at ground-floor level in retail A1 use in the Headington District Shopping Centre does not fall below 75%

Headington handbag snatcher

A thief on a cycle snatched the handbags of five women in Headington between 31 May and 5 June 2005.

Richard Doll Building

The Richard Doll Building in Old Road was officially opened on Thursday 8 July 2005. It houses the Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU); the Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit (CEU); and part of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care.

Advertising board to stay

Primelight Advertising Ltd lodged an appeal in 2005 after failing to obtain retrospective planning permission for the free-standing illuminated advertising sign outside the Project X shop at 71A London Road. The Planning Inspector came out in their favour, even though the city council considered it to be a significant hazard to pedestrians and unsympathetic to its surroundings.

Local delivery office closed

Headington delivery office in Lime Walk closed on Saturday 4 June 2005, and Headington’s deliveries will now be made from the East Oxford Delivery office in Ledgers Close.

This office in Littlemore, which hitherto served the 25,000 addresses in the OX4 (Cowley) and OX44 (Chalgrove) area, now also delivers to the 16,000 addresses in the OX3 (Headington) and OX33 (Horspath) area. About 60 members of the Headington staff have been transferred there.

At the same time Headington’s delivery times were brought in line with the new “single delivery” system already in operation in the rest of Oxford and it was predicted that its postal service should be more efficient than before.

But there was concern that people who do not have cars would have difficulty in collecting parcels from an office three miles away that is not on a direct bus route. Customers can, however, arrange to collect their mail from any post office in the Headington area for a charge of 50p.