The City Council Executive Board designated the proposed Headington Neighbourhood Forum as a neighbourhood forum for the Headington Neighbourhood Area at its meeting on Wednesday 10 September 2014.
The Friends of Headington Hill Park held their inaugural meeting on 26 March 2014:
The siting of new fitness equipment in the park was criticized:
This group of buildings comprising (1) the house called Dairy Lodge, (2) the adjacent barn and former public toilets; and (3) the workshop and garage were sold for development in 2012, following the granting of the planning permission detailed below for the latter two. The whole site was marketed by Kemp & Kemp at a price of £1,150,000. See Oxford Times, 23 August 2012: “Headington Hill park buildings on sale with £1.1m price tag”
(1) Dairy Lodge
This was owned by the city council until 2008, when the widow of the last tenant was forced to move out in order to “secure Dairy Lodge as a public asset”, which was sold shortly afterwards to a private individual. A planning application to insert a new opening n the boundary wall was submitted in October 2014:
(2) Dairy Barn and toilets
Plans to convert Headington Hill Park’s toilet block into a studio apartment and the adjacent old dairy barn into two one-bedroomed properties (11/00283/CT3) were approved at the Area Committee meeting of 17 March 2011. The site was then sold by the city council for £200,000. Planning application 13/03029/VAR varying Condition 2 was approved in January 2014.
(3) Workshop and garage
Portico Property were granted planning permission (12/00155/FUL) in 2012 to convert the workshop and garage of Dairy Lodge on Headington Hill to form 1x1 bedroom dwelling and 1x2 bed dwelling.
In Headington & Marston, there was no change in these four wards: Barton & Sandhills, Churchill, Marston, and Quarry & Risinghurst.
In Headington ward, Mohammed Altaf-Khan succeeded David Rundle as the LibDem councillor; and in Headington Hill & Northway, Farida Anwar (Labour) succeeded Mohammed Altaf-Khan (LibDem).
Oxford is in the South East region, whose ten MEPs are now as follows: four UKIP, three Conservative, one Labour, one LibDem, and one Green:
Laurence Baxter (Labour) stepped down on 7 August 2014 after seven years of representing Quarry & Risinghurst on the city council because he was taking up a post teaching history in Prague.
Chewe Munkonge (Labour) was elected the new city councillor for the ward on 18 September 2014.
On 4 July 2013 Connor Sparrowhawk (18) drowned in the bath at Slade House, a care facility for people with serious learning disabilities at Horspath Driftway, Headington. The unit was told in November 2013 to stop taking admissions following a damning inspection; but improvements were noted after an unannounced inspection the following month:
A Blue Plaque for Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973), writer, was unveiled at The Coach House, The Croft, Old Headington, by Professor Dame Hermione Lee, President of Wolfson College, on 19 October 2014.
The £132m John Henry Brookes Building in Headington won a Royal Institute of British Architecture national award in 2014 (only two were awarded in the South area), but was not shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize:
Two other educational buildings in Headington were also on the original RIBA shortlist for the South region:
Conscription did not start until 2 March 1916, so the four men killed in 1914 joined the services voluntarily, probably in all these cases before the war started.
Captain Rosslyn Curzon Evelegh (29): career soldier of the OBLI who lived in The Ridings: killed in action in France on 19 September 2014 when struck by a piece of shell while seeing his men into shelter: buried in Soupir churchyard
Able Seaman Ralph Nutt (26): sailor whose parents lived at 46 Windmill Road: died on 28 October 1914 when HMS Monmouth was hit by a German shell while taking part in the Dover patrol: buried at the Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Portsmouth
Able Seaman Frank Bateman (29): printer who lived at 37 Lime Wal: died on 1 November 1914 when the Cape of Good Hope was sunk off Chile at the Battle of Coronel: remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Boy 1st Class Joseph Rushton (17): boy sailor who lived in Perrin Street: died on 1 November 1914 when HMS Monmouth was sunk off Chile at the Battle of Coronel: remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial
Headington’s bike hire pilot scheme Oxonbike was relaunched with a new operator, HourBike, on 19 June 2014:
Initial registration costs £1, and hire is free for up to half an hour. There is an improved keypad system to unlock the bikes.
Bikes are located at Thornhill Park and Ride, the John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington Shops (outside St Andrew’s Primary School), the University of Oxford Old Road campus, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. Bikes will shortly also appear at the Churchill Hospital and Oxford Brookes’ Gipsy Lane site.
The scheme is fully funded by the Government via the Local Sustainable Transport fund, and will continue to March 2015. The scheme temporarily closed down when Grand Scheme Bike Share, the original operators, went into liquidation.
Tesco opened on 29 July 2014 at 83 and 83A London Road. These two shops were formerly occupied by the Oxford Furniture Store and the Up & Running shop: both were given notice to quit when their leases ran out but were able to find premises elsewhere in central Headington. (The lease of the adjoining Oxfam shop does not run out until 2017.)
Sainsbury’s opened on 20 February 2014 at 98 London Road in the former Peacock’s store, which closed at Christmas 2013 (nearest branch now at Templars Square, Cowley).
Waitrose took over the convenience stores at Shell petrol stations in the UK, and on Thursday 14 August 2014 the one on the London Road reopened as a “Little Waitrose” on.
They also transferred the Shell licence, making no substantive changes; so sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises remains 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Following the closure of Morrisons in November 2014 after just one year, Headington still had six supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op, Iceland, and Little Waitrose), as well as smaller food shops.
The following planning application for Cheney School was approved: “Erection of two-storey science building, together with accompanying works including bridge link to Russell Building, remodelled entrance to Wainwright Building, amended pedestrian access to Gipsy Lane, replacement perimeter railings and marking out of car parking spaces. Erection of temporary classroom for period of construction”.
City council planners "raised no objection" to county plan to build two-storey, four-classroom extension to Windmill School:
Cultivate’s mobile shop, the VegVan, came to Headington for the first time on 29 March 2014. It is on the corner of London Road and Old High Street, outside Barclays Bank, every Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
It sells fresh, locally-produced food in and around Oxford and has a full range of fresh, local, seasonal and organic fruit & veg, local honey, jams and preserves, free-range organic eggs from the University Farm, fairly-traded tea and coffee, etc.
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This business centre opened at 125 London Road inn September 2014.
Istanbul Barbers opened in the former Lazy Gamer shop at 117 London Road on 3 April 2014.
This restaurant opened at 3 Manor Buildings, Osler Road (the former Café Noir) on 2 March 2014.
This opened at the Shell Petrol station on 14 August 2014.
Londis closed on 27 July 2014.
Morrisons closed on 23 November 2014: the company told the Guardian that the store was not commercially viable
Building started in 2014 of a new shop, which has A1 retail or A2 office permission, next to Waitrose.
This office at 125 London Road closed on 20 January 2014.
Sainsbury’s opened on 20 February 2014 at the former Peacocks at 98 London Road
On 15 December 2014 the Skipton Building Society moved from the High Street in Oxford into the former Ripples Bathroom Showroom at John Leon House (138/140 London Road). The offices on the first floor of John Leon House were granted approval to be converted into flats.
Tesco opened on 29 July 2014 in the former Oxford Furniture Store and the former Up & Running shop at 83 and 83A London Road
This former pub, which was for sale for a very long time (with its price latterly reduced from £899,000 to £775.000) was bought by Seville Developments for £600,000 in mid-2013. Internal work on the building started in January 2014 and Seville are now using it as their offices.
Enterprise Inns sold the Fairview Inn in Glebelands in 2013, and Fleurets had put it up for sale with “alternative use potential”. A community group failed to raise the £385,000 needed to purchase it, and it was sold to unknown buyers. It underwent refurbishments in 2014, and its panelled interior is understood to have been removed.
Two planning applications were approved, and renovation work took place in March 2014:
A planning application by the Chequers at 17A Beaumont Road, Headington Quarry was approved in part at the end of 2013, namely: 13/02762/FUL for “Demolition of existing flat roofed porch and erection of new pitched roof porch. Erection of raised decking area over beer garden at rear of public house with provision of new access to restaurant.”
From September 2014 students at state schools in Oxford have been able to study for an A-level in Classics at the East Oxford Community Classics Centre at Cheney School:
The Classics Centre was officially opened by Professor Mary Beard at Cheney School, Headington on 24 October 2013. All classes (for adults and children) are free and open to the public, but you need to book.
A planning application in relation to the Sikh Temple building at 295–301 London Road was refused in 2014. It was for “Erection of replacement single storey rear store. Sub-division of existing offices (Use Class B1) into 2 x shops (Use Class A1)”.
The lift in Headington Library in Bury Knowle Park was installed in 2014, and the children's library refurbished.
On 21 August 2013 county council planners decided to “raise no objection” in their planning application R3.0075/13 to the city council’s Section 73 planning application 13/01520/CC3 (county council application R3.0005/12) amending the earlier plans for “Erection of extension to provide wheelchair access to rear of Library building, including: Creation of a platform lift; accessible wc; a new door opening between the existing Library building and new entrance and other associated works”. This follows the approval of the associated city council applications 12/00063/CC3. and 12/00064/CC3
The city council’s leisure department moved out of the first floor of Bury Knowle House, and the Freshwater Habitats Trust moved in
Bayard’s Hill Primary School became an academy, sponsored by Cheney School. It was one of the ten primary schools named in 2012 as likely to be turned into an academy because it had consistently fallen below government standards.
Planning permission was granted in 2014 for the following changes to the former Brambles shop (now the Oxford Furniture Warehouse):
“Erection of a first floor to existing building. Partial change of use of retail unit, workshop and storage area to provide 1 x 1-bed flat, 1 x 2-bed flat and 1 x 1-bed maisonette. Formation of terraced areas to side and rear elevations. Retention of use as retail unit at front of ground floor. Provision of bin and cycle storage.”
Londis closed down on 27 July 2014 and reopened as a Caffè Nero on 20 October 2014. Its a planning application for “Display of 1 x externally illuminated fascia sign, 1 non illuminated fascia sign, 4 non illuminate fascia logos and 2 externally illuminated projecting signs” was approved:
Oxford Designer Blinds put up their sign in July 2014 at the former Caffe Corsica/Toscano/Pizza shop at 113 London Road, an A1 retail shop which had been closed since January 2013, and appeared to open partially just before Christmas 2014.
The Caffe Corsica (Pizza), which opened in August 2012 in the former Caffe Toscano shop at 113 London Road, closed in January 2013. The shop (including the flat above) was for sale with Chancellor's for £575,000 (rental £20,000 p.a.).
The former Oxfordshire Family Mediation Service building at 125 London Road near Bury Knowle Park has been leased by Neil Holdstock since 1 June 2014, and once building works are complete he plans to turn both the ground and first floor into an enterprise/business centre.
Downstairs will be hot desk space, rentable by the hour/day/week, with a boardroom / meeting room at the back for use by businesses (whether renting hot desk / office space or not) and local groups that need space for meetings / training, etc.
On 15 December 2014 the Skipton Building Society moved from the High Street in Oxford into the former Ripples Bathroom Showroom (closed 2012) at John Leon House (138/140 London Road)
Their application for change of use to A2 (office) was deemed lawful under new legislation. Connell's Estate Agents, who applied for a similar change of use in 2008, went to appeal when it was refused, but the Planning Inspector dismissed the case.
Meanwhile the offices on the first floor of John Leon House were granted approval to be converted into flats:
The East Area Planning Committee on 8 January 2014 to granted planning permission to Headington School for its application for “Removal of existing portacabin and temporary buildings. Extension to existing sports hall to provide dance studio and fitness suite. Provision of replacement car parking and external works”.
The Planning Inspector dismissed the attempt to turn land at Foxwell Drive, Northway as a Town Green, following Oxfordshire County Council's Town Green public inquiry in September/October 2014. The access road between Headington and Barton Park will now pass through this land.
This K6 telephone kiosk outside Headington Baptist Church was saved in December 2013. Local residents helped by councillors have persuaded BT not to remove it, and it has been adopted by the registered charity Headington Action.
It is the only red telephone box in Oxford outside the centre, and is praised thus in the Old Headington Conservation Area appraisal:
Traditional street furniture including the red post-box, red telephone box and black painted “Lucy and Dean” street lamps are a positive element of the village’s historic character.
Carebase was hoping to build a care home to replace Hillslope at 1 Pullen's Lane (the newish house next to the allotments).
A public exhibition was held at Cheney Community Centre on 3 March 2014, but the planning application was submitted on 28 March for “Demolition of existing house and flat. Erection of 55-bedroom care home facility on three levels, together with 17 car parking spaces, landscaping and associated works” was rejected.