Crown & Thistle closes

The Crown & Thistle on Old Road closed down permanently on 31 December 2011.

Slade Barracks development

Planning permission 11/02946/VAR was granted to vary condition 15 of planning permission 09/02802/VAR to allow occupation of the development by students in full-time education on courses of one academic year or more.

Headington Car Park saved

Following campaigning by many people, the plan to build on Headington Car Park was dropped from the City Council’s Sites & Development Plan.

Vicar of All Saints’ breaks record

James Cocke (85), Vicar of All Saints’, Headington, became the longest-serving Anglican vicar in the UK in December 2011.

109 Lime Walk

Planning application 11/02491/FUL for “Demolition of all existing buildings and erection of 3x2 bedroom terraced dwellings with basements. Provision of cycle parking, bin storage and private amenity space” was deemed invalid.

Barton improvements

The rebuilt Barton Pavilion in Barton Village Road was opened on 28 August 2011. It has changing rooms, toilets, a bar area and a large community room for use by all.

New Play Area and Youth Club

A brand new play area and refurbished youth centre at the Barton Neighbourhood Centre was officially opened on Friday 16 December 2011.

Licensing applications
Six Bells

Licensing application 11/01335/PREM was agreed with conditions (new customers not allowed in after midnight and no alcohol to be consumed outside the premises after 11pm).

Viking Sports Club

This club at 65 Old High Street was granted a licence 11/01272/CLUB to include live and recorded music Mon–Friday 19.00–23.00, Sat 19.00–00.00 hrs, and Sun 19.00– 22.30 with conditions

Half marathon

The Oxford half marathon passed through Headington on Sunday 25 September 2011.

New university and hospital “supertrust”

The new Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust came into existence on 1 November 2011. It has a new website and can be followed @OUHospitals on Twitter or “liked” on Facebook.

The Government approved plans for the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital, and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Headington (plus the Horton in Banbury) to merge with the University of Oxford to form this trust, which is now one of the biggest healthcare providers in the country, employing 11,000 people and responsible for a budget of £750m.

Slade Barracks development

Oxford Brookes were unable to fill all the accommodation for 2010/11, and the shortfall was taken up by students from Bellerby’s Tutorial College.

In late 2010 the Gatehouse Bank in Kuwait bought the new student accommodation block on the Slade Barracks site for £28.95m. Oxford Brookes University nominates the tenants in the block, and the bank gets a 9.63% annual return on its money.

As a Sharia-law compliant bank,Gatehouse only puts up money for projects which meet moral standards laid down by Islam, and cannot invest in anything related to gambling or alcohol.

There are also 72 new houses and flats on the old Slade Barracks site.

Faster BT Broadband for Headington

BT’s fast new Infinity fibre optic system became available in some parts of Headington at the end of August 2011, but other parts had to wait until 30 September.

Ruskin College: Callaghan Library

Joe Callaghan, grandson of James Callaghan and currently a student at Ruskin, unveiled the foundation stone of the Callaghan Library on 1 July 2011.

Bus gate at Osler Road

Residents said that the bus gate at Osler Road was dangerous for pedestrians.

Old Headington Conservation Area Appraisal

The results of the consultation (which closed on 11 May 2011) are available online.

Water main burst in Old Road

People in a hundred homes east of the junction of Old Road and Quarry Road could only drive out via the track over Shotover on Sunday 18 September 2011 because of a hole in the road caused by a burst water main at 6.50am.

A report sent via FixMyStreet to both Oxford City and County Council on 11 September saying that a burst water main been leaking for a week here received no obvious response.

Apple Day

Friends of Warneford Meadow Apple Day was held on Sunday 1 October 2011. Pictures

Headington car park, Old High Street
Electric car Charging

Free charging for electric cars was introduced at this car park in early 2011:

Price increases

A single charge of £1.20 for parking for up to two hours (the new minimum period) was introduced, but the cost for more than four hours on a Sunday was increased from 60p to £12.50 in May 2001.

Doctor cleared of charges

Dr Yenugula Srinivas was cleared of all eleven charges made against him at Oxford Crown Court on 24 October 2011, but he remains suspended.

He was charged in relation to alleged sexual offences against two women while he was working at the Bury Knowle Health Centre in 2008. He first appeared at Oxford Crown Court on 29 November 2010 and pleaded not guilty to17 charges relating to surgeries across Oxford, and on 14 January 2011 denied an 18th charge (a serious sexual assault alleged to have occurred at Bury Knowle surgery).

New Cancer Centre

The new Oxford Cancer Centre opened in Roosevelt Drive on 16 March 2011.

Detection figures

The crime figures for the Headington area for the year ending March 2011 showed a low detection rate (particularly for the shopping centre, split between Headington North and South):

If you enter a central Headington postcode you will find that there were 279 crimes in February 2011 (compared with 278 in December 2010, the first month shown on the crime maps).

Headington disturbances

A petrol bomb was thrown through the window of McDonald’s at Green Road on the night of Mon 8/ Tue 9 August 2011, but the fire damage was not too serious: picture. A man and two teenagers were arrested but released without being charged.

This incident was linked by the police to other crimes in the Headington area that night: a car was set alight in Barton Road at 12.50am, a number of people were reported as looking for potential weapons in a skip near McDonald’s, and petrol was stolen from the Shell garage in the London Road at about 11.30pm.

On the next evening (Tue 9/Wed 10 August 2011), police went door to door advising central Headington restaurants and businesses to close early, and many such as the Co-op were closed by 5pm. On that night the windows of Kavals Beauty Lounge in Cinnaminta Road were smashed, and there were small fires in Saxon Way and Copse Lane.

Charity shop raided

Helen & Douglas House charity shop in Windmill Road was raided on the night of Wednesday 1 June 2011.

Neighbourhood police officers

In April 2011 Inspector Marc Tarbit was appointed Neighbourhood Inspector for the combined Headington North/South Neighbourhood Action Group, and Zoe Eeles replaced Chris Miles as Neighbourhood PC.

Community Warden service

On 4 April 2011 the Street Warden service became the Community Response Team, with Community Wardens having a greater focus on tackling anti-social behaviour including environmental crime and enforcement. The new contact number is 01865 252080.

Scams by children

Young children were going door-to-door in Headington in April 2011 asking for sponsorship money for bogus events.

Older children were also hanging around outside Waitrose claiming that they had lost their busfare home.

CCTV at Headington crossroads

Following a spate of burglaries at the central Headington shops (Angels and Vente Tsunami on the same night in December 2010), CCTV cameras appeared on the new traffic lights at Headington crossroads in January 2011.

Betfred robber sentenced

Robert Kelly (25) was jailed for five years at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday 26 April 2011 in relation to a raid on Betfred on the London Road on Tuesday 15 February 2011.

Ladbroke’s in Headington was similarly raided just five days earlier on Thursday 10 February 2011.

City council changes from May 2011

The North-East Area Committee was abolished in April 2011, and its responsibilities split into two:

(1) Forum meetings

The North-East Area Forum, open to everyone in the six wards of the North East Area Committee, are held every three months.

Individual councillors have their own budget which they can use to hold additional meetings for people in their own wards, and the two city councillors for Headington ward are holding eight meetings a year in the months when the main forum does not meet.

(2) Planning Meetings

Oxford now has just two planning committees: East and West, with Headington & Marston coming under the East Area Planning Committee (covering the 13 wards of the North-East, South-East and Cowley Area Committees). This Committee meets every month: see full details here (including information on how to sign up for planning notifications in your area):

The East Area Planning Committee is a group of eight councillors from across Oxford (including David Rundle of Headington ward). They meet once a month at the Town Hall, and local residents are able to attend and speak.

Most applications will be delegated to officers as before.

Oxford Bus Company changes

Changes to bus services that started on Sunday 7 May 2011 affected Headington:

The City 4/A/B/C replaced the City 15 service to Wood Farm from Abingdon & Botley.
The revised City 4 route thus provided a new link between Oxford Rail Station and the Churchill Hospital, and Wood Farm gained an increased frequency during weekdays with services operating up to every ten minutes.

The City X23 between the JR Hospital and Redbridge Park & ride was renumbered City 23, whilst peak City X23 services to and from Abingdon and the JR Hospital via Brookes University were renumbered City X13.
City 23 service changed its route to operate via Headley Way from the JR Hospital and Brookes University, not Osler Road.

Stagecoach bus service 600

Stagecoach’s contract with Oxfordshire County Council to run route 600 (which runs between Thornhill Park & Ride and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Churchill Hospital) ended on Friday 3 June 2011.

A new contract was awarded to Oxfordshire County Council’s own Transport Service from Monday 6 June 2011, but this service only operates at peak periods, with no buses between 0912 and 1510 hrs.

Headington hospital in TV series

A three-part television series on BBC2 in May 2011 featured the work of the craniofacial unit at the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

House prices in Headington

According to Zoopla, the most expensive houses in the OX3 area in 2011 were in Pullens Lane, Harberton Mead, Elsfield Road, Brookside, and Jack Straw’s Lane.

The streets with the highest turnover in the previous five years were Nether Durford Close off Horspath Driftway; Terrett Avenue in Sandhills, Pond Close and Sweet Green Close in Risinghurst, and Dorchester Close off Old Road.

Traffic chaos near JR

Oxfordshire County Council had to do emergency roadworks at the junction of Cherwell Drive and Marsh Lane at around 4pm on Thursday 21 January 2011 as the road was sinking into a collapsed drainage gully.

Queues of traffic built up in Headley Way, affecting movement on the London Road, and drivers were trapped at the JR carpark.

Brambles cobbler retires

Joe Boyce, who mended shoes for fifty years in the shop now called Brambles, retired on 9 April 2011.

AV referendum

Oxford City voted Yes to AV in May 2011.

There were no local elections in the City of Oxford this year.

Red Nose Day, 17 March 2011

Pirates outside Oxfam in Headington


For up-to-the-minute information:

follow @HeadingtonNews on Twitter

Headington centre overview 2011
New shops and businesses
  • Breckon & Breckon This estate agent moved into 109 London Road in September 2011. This is the former office of Mortgage Masters, who moved out in May 2011.
  • Dance Inspires Studio moved into the former QB Management offices above the Trade Exchange shop at 112 London Road
  • Euro Food This Polish delicatessen opened in March 2011 at 115 London Road (the former LJ Discount store which closed early in 2011).
  • Rosemary’s Restaurant This new Chinese restaurant opened at 81 London Road on Saturday 30 April 2011.
Renamed busnesses
  • The restaurant at 148a London Road (which changed its name from the Hang Chow to simply “The Chinese Restaurant” in 2009), changed its name again in March 2011 to Asian Mama.
  • Buckell & Ballard Estate Agents became Taylor’s overnight in May 2011
Vacant shops
  • The former Annie Sloan shop at 117 London Road had major improvements all year (10/02729/FUL) and was about to be let at the end of the year.
  • Caffe Toscano at 113 London Road closed in October 2011
  • Cartridge World at 196 London Road closed on 9 June 2011
  • Clovers at 2a Windmill Road closed on 3 September 2011
  • Oxford Kebab House at 122–136 London Road closed on 27 September 2011 and is being taken back into Domino’s Pizza next door
  • Today’s Local (in the former Nicolas shop at 83 London Road) which opened in October 2010 was closed by Christmas 2010.
  • Laura Loves Flowers moved out of 126 London Road in May 2011, just four months after opening in the former Matthew Clulee shop
  • Londis at 116–120 London Road went into receivership and closed on 18 February 2011.
Jacobs & Field

Jacobs & Field in Old High Street were voted south-east Deli of the year in 2011.

Sixth blue plaque for Headington

An Oxfordshire Blue Plaque to Salvador de Madariaga was unveiled at 3 St Andrew’s Road on Saturday 15 October 2011. Esther Rantzen held the microphone for Professor de Madariaga’s daughter as she made a speech.

  • Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme:
    de Madariaga plaque (with photographs of unveiling ceremony)

This brought the total number of plaques in Headington to six (plus another in Marston).

Key Stage 2 Tables 2011

Percentage of children in Headington schools achieving Level 4 or above in both English and Maths:

St Joseph’s RC Primary: 96%
St Andrew’s Primary: 87%
Windmill Primary: 78%
Sandhills Primary: 74%
Wood Farm Primary: 68%
Bayards Hill Primary: 40%

“Heine’s Headington Horror”

A debate on the Headington Shark took place at Waterstone’s in Oxford on 22 September 2011.

Eddie Duller (former Editor of the Oxford Mail) and Richard Dick (Chief Executive of Lucy’s and former High Sheriff of Oxfordshire) were against the Shark, while Annie Sloan (of Annie Sloan Paints) and Bill Heine were for it.

Cinnaminta Road betting shop

The Betfred shop in Cinnaminta Road, Headington, was targeted at 8.20am on Saturday 31 December.

Digital TV for Headington

Oxford’s switch to digital television was completed on 28 September 2011.

New dog regulations

New dog regulations came into force on 1 November 2011, bringing in a limit of four dogs per person on roads, footpaths, or parks (including Shotover), and higher fines of £80 (formerly £50) for allowing dog fouling

Two Headington dog-walking services (Pinny & Paws and Walkies) opposed the limit on the number of dogs.

Osler Road

Following a public meeting on 9 May 2011, the new Osler Road residents’ association, co-ordinated by Jon Dennis, was formed.

Newly published archaeological reports
Printed matter distribution ban

This city council order came into force on 1 September 2011 and made it an offence to distribute free printed matter in the Headington Hill and nearby area (namely Cheney Lane, Headington Road and Hill, Minister Road, Pullens Lane, Warneford Lane, Gipsy Lane, Morrell Avenue, Roosevelt Drive, Warneford Road, Grays Road, Hill Top Road, Old Road, and Victoria Court).

Boxing Day 2011


PIctures of Mummers’ Plays:

Bury Knowle Park play area

Following a Playbuilder grant of £47,000, the charity Groundwork began work on the play area on 18 February and completed it in August 2011:

School for pole dancing

Oxford’s first pole dance school, the Dance Inspires Studio, moved into the former QB Management offices above the Trade Exchange shop at 112 London Road (next to Iceland) in January 2011, and in October 2011 obtained retrospective planning permission (11/02146/FUL) for “Change of use of office at first-floor level to dance studio”.

Rosemary’s Restaurant

This Chinese restaurant opened on Saturday 30 April 2011 at 81 London Road (the new building that replaced the former Smart’s Fish & Chip takeaway).

Joint ticketing for buses

The Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach, and Thames Transit adopted a joint ticketing scheme on 24 July 2011. The 700 Park & Ride, the Nightbus, and the Arriva buses were not included.

Northway Pharmacy

Northway Pharmacy at 53 Westlands Drive in Headington moved to the new shop at 2 Cherwell Drive in Marston in October 2011.

Sikh community, 69 Cherwell Drive

Planning application 11/01858/FUL for 69 Cherwell Drive for “Erection of first floor and two storey side extension to form 1 bed house; 3 off street car parking spaces” was refused on 2 September 2011, but amended plans 11/02533/FUL were approved on 8 December 2011.

On 17 May 2011 the North-East Area Committee resolved “to instruct officers to seek immediate compliance with the outstanding requirements to both enforcement notices”, namely that they should remove the extension on the back of this semi-detached house and cease to use it as a temple. On 20 January 2009 that committee refused retrospective planning permission for the temple after neighbours spoke of the problems caused by traffic and parking (09/00060/ENFORC), and the Sikhs lost their appeal against this decision in March 2010

The Sikh community in Oxford set up a new charity and website in 2011:

Indian food at the Chequers

The “Royal India” Indian & Bangladeshi Cuisine & Takeaway opened at the Chequers at Headington Quarry in 2011.

Oxfordshire Health Archives

After 35 years at the Warneford Hospital, these were moved to the Oxfordshire History Centre at Cowley in 2011.

50th anniversary of Northway Evangelical Church

Northway Evangelical Church celebrated its 50th birthday. The Oxford Mail printed a correction to the article below, as the building of the estate itself started in the early 1950s.

Language Schools

In the summer of 2011 there were problems with the students at the EF (Education First) language school in Pullen’s Lane drinking in Headington Hill Park and Bury Knowle Park at night:

The EF International Academy has bought Cotuit Hall on the other side of Pullen’s Lane from Oxford Brookes University. The hall (which previously accommodated 102 Brookes students) will now be used for 16–18-year-olds on two-year residential courses studying for A-levels and the International Baccalaureate.

St Andrew’s welcomes new Vicar

St Andrew’s Church in Old Headington welcomed its new Vicar, Father Darren McFarland, at a service of induction and institution on Friday 15 July 2011.

Buckell & Ballard became Taylors

The Headington branch of Buckell & Ballard was renamed Taylors in May 2011.

Bail hostel plan dropped

Plans for a bail hostel due to open at 30 Headley Way in May 2011 were dropped, and the semi-detached house returned to the landlord.

In 2009, the OX3 area had two secret bail hostels:

West Hill Farmhouse

West Hill Farmhouse in Headington, an empty property at the foot of Shotover owned by Oxford City Council, was burnt down by arsonists on the afternoon of Sunday 15 May 2011.

Estate agent boards set on fire

Nine “For Sale” signs were set on fire in Headington between 13 and 26 March 2011, several on the London Road. Another board was set on fire in Merewood Avenue at 3.45am on Saturday 9 April. Police are appealing for witnesses.

Equipment in a new £45,000 play area in Dene Road was set on fire before the official opening.

Fire at Plowman’s Tower

The 14-storey Plowman’s Tower in Northway was evacuated at midnight on 30 April because of a fire in one of the flats. This fire is thought to have been started deliberately, and a 29-year-old man was arrested.

Cars burnt in Holley Crescent

Two cars in Holley Crescent were set alight in the early hours of Monday 2 May 2011:

Fish & chip shop fire

There was a fire at the fish & chip shop in Cherwell Drive at about 6pm on Tuesday 26 April 2011. The shop reopened in May.

Noise complaints

In 2011 the Oxford Mail produced a “noise map” showing the number of complaints made to the council about noise in each ward in 2010/11. The wards in the north-east (Headington & Marston) area came out as follows:

Churchill: 126
Quarry & Risinghurst: 103
Barton & Sandhills: 73
Marston: 42
Headington: 41
Headington Hill & Northway: 40

Schools being rebuilt
Wood Farm Primary School

Work on Wood Farm Primary School started in 2011. Approved planning application 10/00105/CC3 was for:

“Demolition of existing school. Erection of new building to provide primary and nursery school accommodation (primary school to be increased from 1.5 form entry to 2 form entry), community facilities, children’s centre and primary care trust facilities (new building to be constructed in 3 phases). Erection of temporary classroom accommodation for duration of construction works and relocation of existing Youth Action Group Building.”

Bayards Hill Primary School

The county council has “found” £6.6m, and the rebuilding of the school is going ahead after all.