The Headington Heat Pipe
Work on the energy link between the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals will begin on Monday 28 November 2016 and run until 13 April 2017 in Highfield, and finish on 19 May 2017 on Churchill Drive. Vital Energi is now using three dig teams, which has halved the original schedule.
Two 1.5 km heat transfer pipes in a two-metre-wide trench under the road will run from the JR to the Churchill via Woodlands Road, Sandfield Road, Latimer Road, and Lime Walk (crossing under the London Road, All Saints Road, and Old Road).
This £14.8 million Hospital Energy Project to upgrade the heating and hot-water systems that supply the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals started in the John Radcliffe grounds in November 2015.
John Radcliffe Hospital, 23 December 2015
Work started prematurely on laying the hospital heat pipes in the streets of Headington (All Saints Road) on Monday 4 January 2016 but was suspended on 6 January. The Strategic Manager for the County Highway Network told Vital Energi to reinstate the road with a temporary surface, and this was completed on 8 January.
Contractors Vital Energi had been granted a Section 50 licence by Oxfordshire County Council under the New Roads & Street Works Act (NRSWA) 1991, which enables organizations to install works in the Highways Agency's Strategic Roads Network. On 5 January 2016, however, the Head of Planning & Regulatory Services at Oxford City Council sent this letter to Vital Energi stating that in addition to this licence, planning permission was required for the works to install the energy transfer equipment and apparatus on behalf of the Trust.
Report on "Headington Pipeline" to Performance Scrutiny Committee by County Council Director for Environment & Economy dated 18 February 2016
All Saints Road, 5 January 2016
Eight months after the abortive start on digging up the streets of Headington, Oxfordshire County Council at its meeting on 5 September 2016 granted Vital Energi a Section 50 Licence under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 for the laying of the heat pipe, and two days later on 7 September 2016 Oxford City Council approved the planning application for the heat pipe.
In June 2016 Vital Energi withdrew its original application for the heat pipe following the results of their public consultation and submitted a new application with a change of route: the exhibition boards exhibited on 18 May 2016 can be seen here. The proposed route now goes down Latimer Road as before, but then continues down Lime Walk instead of Stapleton Road. The Trust has engaged Turleys as planning consultants:
- Oxford Mail, 23 November 2015: “Traffic concerns mounting over scheme to link up heating of JR and Churchill hospitals”
- Oxford Mail, 1 December 2015:
“Hospital pipeline work ‘could mean mayhem for residents’”
- Oxford Times, 10 December 2015:
“Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust deny misleading Headington residents over pipeline between the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals”
- Oxford Mail, 6 January 2016:
“Oxford hospitals pipeline contractor Vital Energi suspends work after city council letter”
- Oxford Mail, 6 January 2016:
“City council tells Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust pipeline work started without permission”
- Oxford Mail, 14 January 2016:
“University Hospital Foundation Trust apologise for problems caused by £1.8m pipeline plans”
- Oxford Mail, 10 February 2016:
“Hospital pipeline project delayed for at least three weeks after Oxford City Council request more planning information”
- Oxford Mail, 17 February 2015:
“Controversial plans for Headington hospital pipeline declared 'invalid' because Oxford City Council may not own land”
- Oxford Mail, 11 February 2016:
“Transport bosses to rethink road closures for Headington's £14.8m hospital pipeline scheme”
- Oxford Mail, 19 March 2016: “Householders welcome changes to Headington hospital pipeline route”
- Oxford Mail, 22 April 2016:
“Contractors behind hospital heating project in Headington withdraw application for third time”
- Oxford Mail, 7 September 2016:
“Headington pipeline work given the go-ahead”
- Oxford Mail, 24 September 2016:
“Headington pipeline project will cause six months of 'complete gridlock' residents warn”
- TonyOX3's blog: Energy Project posts