Cyclists' deaths in Headington in 2020/21

Three cyclists died in Headington in the year 2020/1:

  • Samantha-Sue Blackborow (35) of Columbine Gardens, Blackbird Leys, a nurse on her way to work, died on the Horspath Driftway near Aldi after a collision with bin lorry at 8.50am on Tuesday 3 November 2020
  • Ashley Brown (37) of Headington (on an electric bike) collided with a bus shelter at the junction of Lime Walk and Old Road on Tuesday 29 June 2021 and died the next day in the John Radcliffe Hospital
  • Jennifer Wong (32), PA to Pro-Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes Professor Linda King, died at the junction of Headley Way and Headington Road after a collision with a crane mounted on a truck on Sunday 26 September 2021 Tribute by her parents
Ruskin College takeover
Main campus in Stoke Place

Ruskin College was taken over by the University of West London (“The Career University”) in July 2021, following the last-minute dropping of the proposed merger with Activate Learning.

The adopted Oxford Local Plan allows further student accommodation on the current Ruskin site, and allocates the southernmost third of the Ruskin Fields as a potential development site.

Stoke House on the east side of Stoke Place

After renting Stoke House from Ruskin College for a year, in March 2021 Linacre College, Oxford (which is changing its name to Thao College) bought the site from them.

Planning permission has been granted to Linacre College for : “Insertion of sliding doors to east elevation and the provision of an external cycle store. Internal alterations to include the removal of partitions to create a reception area, installation of kitchenette and WC and removal of fabric to ground floor and removal of 1no. cupboard and [im]mersion heater to first floor (21/01723/LBC).

Local elections: 6 May 2021

On 6 May 2021 elections took place for all 63 seats on the county council and all 48 seats on the city council. (All seats had to be contested because of the new ward boundaries.) In addition there was an election for the Thames Valley police & crime commissioner.

Oxford City Council results

In each ward the person in first place gets a three-year term and the one in second place a one year term. The following have been elected:

Barton & Sandhills ward
Tanagra Nala-Hartley (Labour) for three years
Mike Rowley (Labour) for one year

Churchill ward
Susan Brown (Labour) for three years
Mark Lygo (Labour) for one year

Headington Ward
Mohammed Altaf-Khan (Liberal Democrat) for three years
Christopher Smowton (Liberal Democrat) for one year

Headington Hill & Northway Ward
Nigel Chapman (Labour) for three years
Barbara Coyne (Labour) for one year

Marston Ward
Mary Clarkson (Labour) for three years
Mick Haines (Independent) for one year

Quarry & Risinghurst Ward (after five recounts)
Roz Smith (LibDem) for three years
Chewe Munkonge (Labour) for one year

Full results for the above six wards

Oxfordshire County Council results

All four current county councillors have been re-elected for another four-year term

Barton, Sandhills & Risinghurst division
Glynis Mary Phillips (Labour)

Churchill & Lye Valley
Liz Brighouse (Labour)

Headington & Quarry
Roz Smith (LibDem)

Marston & Northway
Mark Lygo (Labour)

Full results of the above four divisions

Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner

Matthew Barber (Conservative) was elected.


New ward boundaries from 6 May 2021

New ward boundaries in Oxford came into effect on 6 May 2021. On 5 February 2019 the Local Government Boundary Commission published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Oxford City Council:

The main changes for the Headington area include:

  • Barton Park estate is now part of Barton & Sandhills ward
  • Area between Bury Knowle Park and Barton Road (including Bury Knowle Park itself) has transferred from Barton & Sandhills ward to Headington ward
  • Staff accommodation in John Radcliffe grounds has transferred from Headington ward to Headington Hill & Northway ward.

(The boundary changes were originally due to come into effect in May 2020, but this was postponed because of the pandemic.)

Interim Minister appointed for All Saints' Church

Following the retirement in 2020 of the Revd James Cocke who served as Vicar of All Saints' Church for 63 years, the Revd Leon Catallo was appointed Interim Minister there for three years from the beginning of July 2021. He was formerly one of the associate ministers at St Ebbe's Church in Headington.

Development in C.S. Lewis Nature Reserve

This unpopular application was WITHDRAWN in January 2021.

In 2016 the Wychwood Foundation submitted the following application to build housing for vulnerable adults adjacent to 4 Wychwood Lane with new road access beside the nature reserve, but it has still not been discussed at the East Area Planning Committee:

“Erection of 2.5 storey building to provide 9 apartments (4x3 beds, 3x2 beds and 2x1 beds) on behalf of the Wychwood Foundation. Provision of ancillary facilities, 22 car parking spaces, cycle parking and amenity space. Creation of new vehicular access from Lewis Close”.

This access road would have run very near the reserve. Over 200 people have objected to the application, and the "Save the C. S. Lewis Nature Reserve” petition to Oxford City Council with nearly 6,000 signatures was presented to Oxford City Council.

Two new bus services through Headington

In January 2021 the following two bus services started to run:

Stagecoach H5:
Bicester to John Radcliffe Hospital

Via Ambrosden, Islip, Barton (opp. Stowford Farm, Wick Close, Barton Village Road), and Barton Park (west end)

Thames Travel X3:
Abingdon to Barton (Underhill Circus), via JR Hospital

Via Redbridge Park & Ride, St Aldate's, John Radcliffe Hospital, Barton Park

Covid-19 in Headington

(1) Vaccine: The Jenner Institute on the Old Road campus with the Oxford Vaccine Group at the Churchill Hospital developed the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that was approved for use in the UK in December 2020 and the first vaccination in the world took place at the Churchill Hospital on 4 January 2021

AstroZenica produced the vaccine at its three new Oxford Biomedica facilities (Oxbox) at Transport Way, Yarnton, and the Oxford Business Park.

(2) Treatment: The Recovery Trial of drugs to treat Covid-19 patients was led by the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the Nuffield Department of Population Health

(3) Modelling A team at the Nuffield Department of Medicine has produced a simulation suggesting that a digital contract-tracing app could be effective:

(4) Discovery of the gene that doubles the risk of death from Covid‑19 at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital: details



For up-to-the-minute information:

follow @HeadingtonNews on Twitter

Shop and businesses changes in 2021
“The Gym Oxford Headington”

This new gym near Homebase at Horspath Driftway opened on 20 December 2021:

Jacobs & Field

Jacobs & Field at 15 Old High Street moved out completely in May 2021 after being closed for some time, then went into liquidation. It reopened on 9 October 2021

Lumière Medispa

Lumière Medispa (formerly based at the 310 Dental Care Clinic at 310 London Road, Risinghurst) opened in the former HSBC Bank building at 108 London Road on 11 November 2021.

Medina Foods Market

The Medina Foods Market opened on 9 October 2021 in the former Buongiorno e Buonasera restaurant, which closed in July 2019.

In 2020 Silverlynx Ltd was granted planning permission as follows for these premises at 92 London Road:

  • January: Change of use of from Shops (Use Class A1) to Restaurants and Café (Use Class A3) (19/02230/FUL),
  • July: installation of a second double-door entrance from the London Road (20/01238/FUL), with drawings showing two numbered units.
Headington Barbers

93 London Road

Headington Barbers moved from their shop near the roundabout into the former Helen & Douglas small charity shop (which did not reopen after lockdown and was cleared out in May 2021).

Marie Curie Cancer Care charity shop

108–110 London Road

This closed in September 2021

The Tile Shop Ale House

10 Windmill Road

This new pub opened when lockdown was eased on 12 April 2021. The planning application for change of use of part of the former Oxford Wills/English Rose Kitchens to a drinking establishment was approved in September 2020:

Bank closures in Headington

HSBC closed on Friday 18 June 2021

Santander closed on 12 August 2021

V & F Beauty Lounge

142a London Road

This opened in the former vaping shop (next door to the former post office) in October 2021, following the refusal of a planning application for change of use from Shops (Use Class Ea) to Restaurants and cafés (Use Class Eb) and takeaway (Sui Generis).

The left-hand part of the shop that cuts into the former Post Office will open as “Yummy Noodle Tea”.

Former Co-op Travel Care

Unit 1, Holyoake Hall

Co-op Travel Caremoved into the Headington Co-op

Lemon Garden

113 London Road

Lemon Garden, a café that serves desserts, fully opened here on 1 June 2021.

Finders Keepers occupied these premises from December 2015 but moved to bigger premises across the London Road on 1 July 2019.

Costa Coffee replaced Caffè Nero

On 26 March 2021 Costa Coffee opened in the former Caffè Nero shop, which closed down in February 2021.

Oxon Groceries

The former AGN Groceries in the old Post Office building was refitted and changed its name to Oxon Groceries.

Former “Exciting Game” premises

Upstairs at 123 London Road

A planning application to convert the upstairs of Mojo's into two apartments has been approved. The “Exciting Game” escape room occupied these premises from December 2013 to the summer of 2019. A planning application (19/02214/FUL) for change of use to a sui generis massage parlour was approved in November 2019, but the pandemic intervened.

Consultation on Oxford Local Plan 2016–2036

On 8 June 2020 Oxford City Council adopted the Oxford Local Plan 2016–2036. It includes housing on the Valentia Road recreation ground, development of the south part of the Ruskin fields, and enhancing the function of Cuckoo Lane as a walking and cycling route.

“Botnar 3”

Preliminary work took place on the Botnar 3 site in 2018, and the building was completed in 2021. This building is connected to the Botnar Research Centre on the other side of the access road by a bridge.

Plans submitted by Nuffield Orthopaedic Limited for a new development at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre were approved by the East Area Planning Committee in January 2017. They are for “Demolition of temporary office building. Erection of freestanding two-storey research building (Botnar 3) with glazed footbridge link to existing Botnar Research Centre building. Provision of 4 disabled car parking spaces and covered cycle store for 200 bicycles”.

Three sets of plans relating to this application have been approved:

  • Erection of new electrical substation: 16/02686/FUL
  • Formation of replacement car park for eight vehicles for a temporary period: 16/02688/FUL
Ampleforth Arms

Star Pubs and Bars (the owners since March 2018) refurbished the Ampleforth. The following planning application submitted in December 2017 appears to be still outstanding:
“Part demolition of the existing public house. Part redevelopment and conversion to create a new community run public house at basement and ground floor level. Creation of 1 x 1-bed, 3 x 2-bed and 2 x 3 bed apartments (Use Class C3) and erection of 1 x 3-bed dwellinghouse (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, landscaping and car parking”

There were plans to rename it the Risinghurst Arms:

McDonald's: Drive-Thru rejected

The application by McDonald's to demolish the former Carphone Warehouse at 298 London Road and erect a single-storey extension to incorporate a drive-thru lane has been refused:

Consequently McDonald's have withdrawn a second application for “Display of 4no. internally illuminated digital menu boards, 3no. non-illuminated banner signs, 2no. non-illuminated accessible parking bay signs, 1no. parked bay order sign, 4no. non-illuminated litter sign, 4no. non-illuminated no entry signs, 4no. non-illuminated pedestrian signs, 1no. non-illuminated speed limit sign”:

An earlier application for a drive-thru facility here was rejected in 1996: McDonald's went to appeal, which was refused: