Changes to Shops in 2008

Adkin Estate Agents moved out of 109 London Road.

Angels became the new name for Accent at 111 London Road

Boots opened their second Headington branch on 22 September 2008 in the new pharmacy at Bury Knowle Health Centre. The Alliance Pharmacy at 8 Windmill Road closed, but its staff were transferred to the new premises.

Betfred (which was granted a gambling licence in 2007) moved into Ladbroke’s former premises under Holyoake Hall in September 2008.

Café On-Line, Headington’s first internet café, opened in the former G. H. Williams bike shop at 115 London Road.

Caffe Toscano opened in the former La Plaza café at 113 London Road in November 2008. This was preceded for a brief period as the Copacabana Café

Fusion hairdressing opened in the former Filipino grocery at 97 London Road. It is also an internet café, serving coffee and food supplied by the Squash Café.

The Jem-i-Ni flower shop at 121 London Road closed down in December, and will not come back after its building is refurbished

Oxford Optical Centre opened in the former Olan Mills Photographic Studio at 104 London Road.

Reynolds Blinds moved from 118 London Road, to Kirby House, Windmill Road (behind Africare) in September 2008.

Shell Select foodstore opened in the former Sainsbury’s, which closed on 3 October 2008

Squash Café fresh food and juice bar opened in February 2008 in the former West of Java shop. Former Brookes business student James Whitman (23) started up this business offering Fair Trade and organic options.

Subway opened at 63 London Road, following Oxonian Travel’s move to Wantage in November 2007.

Sun of a Beach tanning salon opened in the former Sun-Kissed Tanning Salon in June 2008. The premises at 65 London Road were repossessed on 6 May by their landlord, RMA Investments Ltd of Bicester.

“Low-carbon Headington”

Low-carbon Headington was launched on 23 April 2008.

City Council election results 2008

One seat on each of the six wards in the North-East area committee was contested at the local election on 1 May.

Four out of six councillors stood for re-election, but three of them lost their seats to Labour (which will form a minority administration in Oxford as there is no overall control):

  • Churchill: Claire Kent (IWCA) lost to Mark Lygo (Labour)
  • Marston: Caroline Van Zyl (LibDem) lost to Beverley Hazell (Labour)
  • Quarry & Risinghurst: Tia MacGregor (Conservative, formerly LibDem) lost to Laurence Baxter (Labour)
  • Barton & Sandhills: Patrick Murray held seat for LibDems, winning by four votes

In the following two wards, the party remained the same but the councillor changed following the resignation of Stephen Tall and Tony Gray:

  • Headington: Ruth Wilkinson (held seat for LibDems, winning by 16 votes)
  • Headington Hill & Northway: Maureen Christian (held seat for Labour)

John Goddard resigned as leader of the LibDem group on the city council, and was succeeded by Headington city councillor David Rundle.

Police night patrol in Headington

At the beginning of July 2008, police started patrolling Headington between 6pm and 3am at weekends on foot, in cars,and on bikes.

Car thefts

Thieves broke into cars in Headington at the rate of one a day in December 2008. Nine were targeted in Cheney Lane, three in Kennett Road, and two in Wharton Road:

Four more cars were broken into in Headington between 24 and 29 December:

Hindu temple for Headington?

Oxfordshire’s 500-strong Hindu community originally earmarked Headington as a potential site for a £2m temple, but are now searching the whole city.

Lead and metal thefts

On Wednesday 28 May 2008 police were called at 11.36pm following reports that people were trying to steal the gates from the front of Bury Knowle Park. During the three days prior to that, 8 square feet of lead flashing was stolen from the telephone exchange in London Road.

The Clic Sargent charity shop on the London Road had its copper and waste pipes stolen on the night of Tuesday 3 June, and old Victorian lead has even been removed from people’s doorsteps.

Lead was also stolen this year from the roofs of the following buildings in Headington: John Leon House, McDonald’s restaurant (twice), Cheney School, St Andrew’s Primary School, Windmill Primary School, All Saints Church House, the Chequers pub, Bury Knowle House, Emden House, the dental surgery at 310 London Road, Sharp & Howse, the Legion at Barton, and Barton pool, as well as a number of private houses.

In Marston, lead was taken from St Michael & All Angels Church, St Michael’s School, and two private houses.

Following the theft of 200 bronze plaques from Oxford Crematorium’s garden of remembrance in September 2007, the remaining plaques were covered with “Smartwater” to deter future thieves.

Headington & Marston Neighbourhood Forum

Eighteen members of the Headington & Marston Neighbourhood Forum (HMNF) gathered at the Black Boy on 1 October 2008 to meet Steven Clift of e-democracy.

St Andrew’s bell tower

An 81-year-old man collapsed halfway up the bell tower at St Andrew’s Church at 10am on Sunday 14 December 2008. The fire brigade lowered him with pulleys through a trap door to the ground.

North East Area Plan

In 2008 the city council refreshed the North East Area Plan – but this time to a neighbourhood level. This involved putting together lists of neighbourhood issues and challenges (which the council calls “storybooks”) and meeting community organizations.

Royal visit to Headington

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the John Radcliffe Hospital on Thursday 27 November 2008 to mark the opening of the West Wing and the Children’s Hospital at the beginning of the year.

OX3 Guide

The second edition of the OX3 Guide was published by Headington action in July 2008, and was distributed to homes throughout Headington and Marston.

War memorial falls

The wooden cross of the war memorial to the dead of the two world wars outside All Saints Church broke and fell over in 2008, and was stolen before it could be remounted.

Bill Heine book

Bill Heine’s book Heinstein of the Airwaves (Chris Andrews Publications) was launched at the Ashmolean Museum on 31 October 2008.

New book and article about Headington

Book 3 in The Changing Faces of Headington series was published in 2008

Rhona Walker’s article “Bury Knowle House in context: its history, design, and architecture” appeared in Oxoniensia 72 (2007, but published 2008).

Another house for Norton Close

A planning application to demolish the existing warehouse/store behind 72A Windmill Road (the former Richard Ford secondhand shop) and to erect a detached 3/4 bed dwelling fronting Norton Close was approved (07/02480/FUL).

A former application to erect a two- and single-storey building comprising 3 x one-bed flats was rejected (07/01497/FUL).

4×4s targeted in Headington

Tyres were let down in Grays Road, Jack Straw’s Lane, Southfield Road and Staunton Road in Headington and Ferry Road, Nicholson Road and Raymund Road in Marston in the week ending 19 July 2008. Notes were left on the windscreens explaining how Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) emit up to 300% more greenhouse gases than the average car.

Headington McDonalds

The McDonalds near the Green Road roundabout reopened on Saturday 15 November after a refit.

Late postal collection abolished

On Monday 21 April 2008, the last collection of post from Headington Post Office was changed to 6pm from 7pm.

Domino’s licence extension refused

Following local opposition, Domino’s Pizza at 126 London Road was refused permission at a meeting of a Licensing Committee on 31 July 2008 to vary its premises licence under Section 34 of the Licensing Act 2003 to extend its store hours from midnight to 0300 on Friday and Saturday nights (08/00592/PREM)

Another Blue Plaque for Headington

A Blue Plaque on the Kilns in Risinghurst, C.S. Lewis’s former home, was unveiled on Saturday 26 July 2008.

Highfield wants road closures

Two-thirds of the residents in the Highfield area signed a petition in May 2008 seeking bollards to prevent rat-running.

C.S. Lewis Holyoake Road house sold

According to the “Our Property” website, 14 Holyoake Road (“Hillsboro”), where C.S. Lewis lived with Mrs Moore before moving to The Kilns, sold for £1,600,000 on 2 May 2008.

Mill Court

Mill Court in Windmill Road, currently leased to Oxford Brookes and used as an Osteopathy Clinic, was sold as an “investment property” in 2007.

It was advertised as a Commercial (D1) property when put up for sale by Thomas Merrifield at a guide price of £500,000; but in June 2007 West Waddy ADP (acting as agents for Brookes) had to submit a planning application on behalf of Oxford Brookes for change of use from office use (Class B1) to Osteopathy Clinic (Class D1) for a temporary period expiring end of December 2008 (07/01540/FUL).

An application in 2008 for “Permanent change of use from office (use class B1) to osteopathy clinic (use class D1)” (08/01702/FUL) was also approved.

Cycling on pavements

Police undertook four surveys of pavement cyclists at the London Road/ Windmill Road junction in April 2008, and the highest number was 33 on Monday 28th between 3pm and 5pm.

Barton Village Road plan rejected

An application to demolish a stone cottage and replace it with 2×two-bed semi-detached dwellings was rejected on 4 July 2008 (08/00966/FUL).

Takeaway appeal dismissed

On 17 January 2008 the Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal by Mohamed Garni of Mojo’s Sandwich Bar at 123 London Road (07/00068/REFUSE) against the city council’s decision to refuse permission for change of use of its premises from retail (Class A1) to hot-food take-away (Class A5) (07/01302/FUL).

The Inspector concluded that the proposal was contrary to RC4 of the Local Plan and harmful to the vitality and viability of the Headington District Shopping Centre, and that the same would apply if the appellant sought a change of use to A3 status (hot-food dishes to eat in).

New homes in Bateman Street

Building on the site in Bateman Street formerly occupied by garages and the ends of the gardens of 52, 54, 56, and 58 Windmill Road is now complete.

Crampton Smith Developments have built two three-bedroom houses to the east of the site, and four two-bedroom and 2×one-bedroom flats to the west. All of the flats were reserved before the foundations were even laid.


At least ten groups in Headington took part in Oxclean on the weekend of 15/16 March 2008.

Archbishop at All Saints funeral

The Archbishop of Canterbury read a eulogy at the funeral of the wife of the Vicar at All Saints Church on Monday 23 June 2998.

Fish & chip shop fire

Fire crews were called to “Posh Fish” on the London Road at 8pm on Monday 11 February 2008 following a fire in the deep-fat fryers.

In 2002 there was a similar fire in this shop (which was then called the Mediterranean Fish Bar), resulting in closure for over three months. The current fire does not appear to have been as serious.

Easter sofa-sit

Seven members of staff at the Britannia Inn on the London Road took part in a sponsored sofa-sit from noon on Good Friday to noon on Easter Sunday 2008. They were raising money for “Against Breast Cancer”.


For up-to-the-minute information:

follow @HeadingtonNews on Twitter

Pub News 2008

The Black Boy in Old High Street closed on 15 July 2008 after the Mustard Group did not renew its lease with the brewery, Greene King, but reopened within two days of its closure with an interim manager.

On 7 October 2008 the new permanent landlords, Chris Bentham and Abigail Rose, took over. The pub’s emphasis is now on good food.

The pub was granted planning permission in March 2008 to alter the wall along its frontage to enclose the front car-parking area to create an outdoor seating area (08/00140/FUL).

The Chequers in Quarry applied for variations to its existing licence, including extending its opening hours to midnight Monday–Saturday, and to 11pm on Sundays (08/00891/PREM)

The White Hart in St Andrew’s Road was granted the following variation to its alcohol licence: “The garden area must not be used by customers after 23:00 hours. The external smoking area must not be used by customers for licensable activity after 23:00 hours” (08/00734/PREM)

The Somerset pub on the Marston Road became a bar and Chinese restaurant.

The Friar on the Marston Road was bought by Tesco’s.

Neighbourhood Action Groups

Four NAGs were set up in the North-East area in 2008:

(1) Barton, Risinghurst, & Sandhills
(2) Headington South
(3) Headington North
(4) Marston.

At the consultation on the Headington North NAG (which includes the shopping centre), the key issues mentioned by residents were speeding cars, antisocial behaviour, and cycling on pavements.

Three planning appeals dismissed

91 Lime Walk: The appeal by MKD Property Developments against the area committee decision in May 2008 (07/02340/FUL) to demolish 91 Lime Walk and replace it with a block of 4 x 2 bed flats (fronting Cecil Sharpe Place) and a terrace of 3x3 bed dwellings was dismissed (08/00112/REFUSE).

This house was originally called Summerville, and was built when Lime Walk was first laid out in the 1880s. It then had a nursery to the north and south, and was the home and workplace of the florist John R. Mattock before he built a new house for himself at 90 Windmill Road near his father’s house.

Bateman Street: against the city council’s refusal of planning permission (08/01412/FUL) for the subdivision of the garden area serving 59 Kennett Road and the erection of a pair of one-bedroom semi-detached dwellings with parking and amenity space (08/00098/REFUSE).

Horwood Close: against the city council’s refusal of planning permission (08/01520/FUL) for the erection of a three-storey flat-roofed building to provide 3x1 bed flats at 30 Horwood Close (08/00092/REFUSE)

Black Boy

This new gastropub in Old High Street received a good review from Jay Rayner in the Observer in December 2008.

Community hospital closed

Oxford Community Hospital on the Churchill site closed after a third outbreak of the clostridium difficile superbug in May 2008, and plans to replace it have been shelved.

88 & 90 Windmill Road

Cherwell Housing Trust demolished (1) 90 Windmill Road/ 1A Mattock Close and (2) 88 Windmill Road in August 2008, and is building a block of student accommodation on each of the two sites.

The two applications were initially turned down by the city council, but an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State held a Local Inquiry at the Town Hall on 22 and 23 April 2008, and has allowed the two appeals, but, with conditions.

  • Appeal 07/00074/REFUSE (No. 90/1A) \
    (26 student study rooms in two blocks)
    re 06/02540/FUL
  • Appeal: 07/00077/REFUSE (No. 88)
    (23 student study rooms in two blocks)
    re 06/02539/FUL
  • Oxford Mail, 27 February 2008:
    Fears over student hall plans

On 25 July 2007 the Strategic Development Control Committee rejected these two applications (first submitted in December 2006 and later revised), voting 9 to 1 against the plans, despite the recommendations of planning officers that they should be approved. This followed a similar decision by the North-East Area Committee on 19 June 2007.

No. 88 was built by John Mattock c.1890, and No. 90 by his son, John Robert Mattock, c.1899. Their rose gardens were compulsorily purchased by the city council and Mattock Close was built on them in the early 1980s.


Seventeen trees were felled for safety reasons in Bury Knowle Park in July and August 2008.

Twelve trees in Headington Hill Park were felled in early July 2008. The Creation Theatre Company used the trees as benches for the audience for its two-month run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which ended on 13 September.

The following planning application was also approved: “Temporary use of land from June to September 2008 for the siting of various structures including a catering marquee and logs for seating in connection with a ‘promenade’ theatre production. Temporary use of the ‘Dairy’ building for toilets and storage” (08/00712/FUL).

Bury Knowle Health Centre

The Bury Knowle Health Centre expanded in 2008 with a separate dental surgery and pharmacy.

In August 2004 planning permission (04/01244/FUL) was granted for (1) a single-storey extension to existing health centre to provide a pharmacy; (2) a two-storey building to provide dentist surgery and offices; and (3) a new single-storey detached garage for 209 London Road, plus remodelled car-parking.

Brookes drops Morrells

In 2008 Oxford Brookes University extended the “Clive Booth Hall” name to include the adjacent Morrell Hall site, thus obliterating the Morrell name.

The history of Oxford Brookes University is entwined with the Morrell family: not only did they build Headington Hill Hall, but they also owned the land on which the Gipsy Lane campus is now built.

In 1965 the Morrell family released to the city council part of the allotments they owned for the development of residences for the students of the Oxford College of Technology, and for 43 years these residences were known as Morrell Hall.

In 2007 Brookes was granted planning permission to demolish the existing blocks A and B and to erect in their place 178 student study rooms in two blocks on three floors (07/00615/CAC and 07/00616/FUL). (This is a net increase of 79 student study rooms, bringing the total on the site to 634.) Work on the site started in 2008.

Bus shelter move

Permission was granted in 2008 for “Relocation of existing bus shelter from outside 192 Headington Road and display of 2 illuminated sheet advertisement panels on the relocated bus shelter” (08/01101/ADV).

Waste collection changes

Collection services in Oxford changed at the end of October 2008, with the whole of the north and east of the city including Headington and Marston in one zone (“blue”) and the south in another (“red”).

Shell petrol station

A basic “Shell Select” forecourt convenience store opened at the Shell petrol station on the London Road, replacing Sainsbury’s (which closed on 3 October 2008 along with another 24 Shell service station stores belonging to that group).

Streets for People/Car Free Day 2008

Some events took place in localized parts of Headington on the Saturday before Streets for People Day (always 22 September).

Barton Road corner site

Two applications for the site of Nos. 249 & 251 London Road were approved in 2008, namely:
(1) the erection of a detached two-storey four-bed dwelling and two blocks of flats to provide 7 flats (one block with 2 x two- bed flats and one with 4 x two-bed and 1 x one- bed flats), plus associated parking and alterations to existing access (07/01906/FUL);
(2) Erection of two semi-detached dwellings to the north of the site (07/02909/FUL).

An earlier application to redevelop this site was submitted on 18 April 2007 (07/00865/FUL), but no decision on that has yet been made, and the appeal lodged on 25 June (on the grounds of non-determination in an appropriate period) was allowed with conditions (07/00050/NONDET). This earlier application proposed the erection of 2×two-storey blocks to provide a total of 7 flats (6 x two-bed, 1 x one-bed), and 1 detached four-bed dwelling house.

It was established that prior approval is not required for the method of demolition and site restoration.

Co-op break-in

Thieves broke into the Headington Co-op at 1am on Friday 19 December and used a grinder to try to remove an automatic teller machine.

On Christmas Day a pane of glass by the main entrace to the Co-op was smashed.

Chequers reopened

The Chequers pub in Headington Quarry reopened on Saturday 12 April 2008.

It was bought by the landlord of the Red Lion in Old Marston, Steve Jenkins.

Kitten Club robbed

On Saturday 7 June 2008 at 10.30pm a gang armed with knives robbed the Kitten Club massage parlour in Cherwell Drive. Four months earlier on Saturday 2 February it suffered a similar attack.

On 21 July the Kitten Club moved to central Headington.

Two other brothels in the Headington and Marston area were closed down this year. The “Venus massage parlour” which operated near St Michael’s Primary School at 230 Marston Road was raided by police at noon on Tuesday 8 April; and another brothel in All Saints Road was raided by 17 officers at 2pm on Friday 1 February.

Headington Festival

The 2008 Headington Festival was held on Sunday 1 June in Bury Knowle Park

Conservative Club

Headington Conservative Club on the corner of Windmill Road and Bateman Street was refurbished in June 2008.

Palm “Saturday” procession

More than 110 adults and children took part in the Headington procession on Saturday 15 March 2008 from All Saints Church to a service in Bury Knowle Park.

Helicopter lands in park

The police helicopter encircled and eventually landed in Bury Knowle Park at around 7pm on Saturday 12 July 2008. It is understood that a young woman had collapsed in the park, but that her exact location was unknown.

Chimney demolished

A 30-metre chimney that has stood at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre for 53 years was felled at 9.15am on Saturday 2 February.

Ramsay Road arson case

The two teenage boys convicted at Oxford Crown Court of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered were sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 11 July 2008. They have avoided a prison sentence, but have to pay £5,000 each in compensation, undertake 540 unpaid hours of work between them, and observe a night-time curfew for six months.

The severe fire in a house in Ramsay Road was caused by a firework being set off through the letterbox at about 1am last Halloween night (31 October 2007).

EF Language School

Work began in 2008 on new buildings for the EF language school in Pullens Lane, which had three sets of plans approved:

(1) to partially demolish the Isis Building and erect a new entrance, lecture theatre, student accommodation building, and central link building (07/02499/FUL).

(2) to erect a two-storey building to provide 28 student study rooms (07/02129/FUL)

(3) to demolish the current JCR and erect a two-storey building incorporating teaching accommodation and ancillary facilities (07/01944/FUL and 07/01945/CAC).

New pedestrian footway

An application for the formation of (1) A cycle/ pedestrian path from Old Road to car park and (2) a 240m pedestrian footway along the north side of Roosevelt Drive was decided at the North-East Area Committee meeting in May 2008.

The first part of the application was refused, but the footpath along Roosevelt Drive was approved (08/00510/FUL).