Shark

Headington News: Monday 27 November, 2023

MEETINGS & EVENTS

Light in the darkness,
Organized by Headington Action

Saturday 2 December 2023 from 4.15pm: The Headington Christmas Tree will be switched on, with music and food:

Poster with full details

You can also email for a free set of Christmas lights, including batteries, to light up your own property.

 

Headington Market

Headington Market is held on the London Road in central Headington on Saturdays, 9am to 2pm
Christmas Market on Saturday 23 December 2023

Oxford City Planning Committee

The agenda for the next meeting of the committee on Tuesday 12 December 2023 will appear here about a week before the meeting.

(The former East and West area planning committees were replaced by a single Oxford City Planning Committee in May 2021.The minutes for all the meetings of the old East Area Planning Committee can still be found here)

Community activities

See Headington Action's Community Activity Directory

Plans for Warneford site

The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust submitted a Scoping Opinion request to Oxford City Council on 22 May 2023 (NOT a planning application) for the following:

“Scoping Opinion (The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulation 2017) for the construction of a new mental health hospital; refurbishment and conversion of the current mental health hospital (for use as part of a new post-graduate college in the University of Oxford); construction of a new post-graduate college and association accommodation; construction of a new research facility”.

The planners' decision on 2 October 2023 reads “EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] Development”.

Full details are in the 142pp document under the Documents tab in the link below entitled “Warneford Park: Information to Support a Scoping Opinion Request”:

Headington recycling banks removed

Oxford City Council announced that in October 2023 that it would be removing all recycling banks on their land throughout the city. This means that those at the following sites in Headington have gone:

  • Headington Car Park next to Waitrose (including the charity-run banks collecting textiles, books, etc)
  • Wood Farm (Atkyns Road)
  • Barton (Underhill Circus)
  • Northway (Westlands Drive)

Explanation and full list from Oxford City Council

Headington School and Rye St Antony
to merge as “Headington Rye”

Headington School on the London Road and Rye St Antony RC School on Pullens Lane are to merge in 2024 to become Headington Rye School. The new Headington Rye Prep will be fully co-educational from September 2024 operating from the current Rye site.

Oxford Tube improvements

Changes to the Oxford Tube bus service to London introduced on 23 October 2023 include the following improvements for people in Headington:

  • The frequency has been improved to 10–15 minutes on Mon–Fri and 8–12 minutes on Sat, and up to 20 minutes into the night
  • A new hourly route through Headington will call at High Wycombe after Lewknor and will also have an additional stop in London at Baker Street

Those travelling from Headington who want the Shepherd's Bush route should avoid buses that go via High Wycombe, and on coming back from London beware of the new service to Carterton, Witney & Eynsham, as this goes over the northern bypass after leaving the Thornhill Park & Ride

Changes to Bury Knowle Park agreed

Courtside CIC received a grant from the Community Ownership Fund (part of the Government's Levelling Up programme) that was ring-fenced for a proposed multi-activity hub in the sports and recreation corner of the park.

The following planning application was approved on 23 November 2023: “Alterations and extensions to existing pavilion to create a new kitchen, café area, storage room and bin store. Alterations to existing tennis court and creation of an all-weather Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). Creation of mini-golf course, 2no. shuffleboard courts and a group exercise space. Installation of 2no. table tennis tables. Provision of cycle storage and new seating areas. Alterations to existing boundary and landscaping to include the removal 1no. hedge and 2no. trees”:

They plan to create a community café with public access toilets, resurfaced tennis courts with LED court lighting, multi-use games area, mini golf course, and more.

Work has already started on refurbishing the tennis courts.

See the findings of the public consultation held by Courtside in October 2022 and subscribe to its mailing list here.

Planning Appeals in Headington in 2023
Current undecided appeals
  • 27 Long Close, Slade Park
    Change of use from House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4) to a large House in Multiple Occupation (Sui Generis). Provision of bin and cycle stores
    Refused application: 22/01309/FUL
    Appeal: APP/G3110/X/23/3329471 (started 28 September 2023)
  • Oxford Guest House, 228 London Road
    Application to certify that the proposed provision of meals to 12 non-residential guests between 12:00 and 22:00 hours (daily) is incidental to the existing hotel use (Use Class C1) [and] is lawful development
    Refused application: 23/00643/CPU
    Appeal: APP/G3110/X/23/3325043 (started 2 October 2023)
  • 11 Kiln Lane, Risinghurst
    Demolition of existing rear extension. Erection of a two-storey side extension and a part single=, part two-storey rear extension. Provision of external insulated render. Alterations to car parking
    Refused application: 23/01237/FUL
    Appeal: APP/G3110/D/23/3326200 (started 18 October 2023)
Two appeals against non-determination

The following two appeals have been announced but are not yet listed on the Planning Inspectorate website:

Appeals allowed in 2023
Appeals dismissed in 2023
Supported temporary housing in Windmill Road?

A2Dominion have submitted a planning application for “Change of use from Student Accommodation (Sui Generis) to Supported Temporary Housing (Sui Generis)” at Champneys Court at 88 Windmill Road and Edna Rose Court at 90 Windmill Road (one each side of Mattock Close). The 49 student rooms there are currently occupied by Oxford Brookes students.

It appears that the former will remain as it is with 23 units, but changes will be made at the latter to incorporate two key-worker rooms on the ground floor which will reduce the number of study bedrooms to 12. .

Headington Co‑op site: Plans for development

In February 2023 Cantay Estates Ltd submitted two new and alternative planning applications for the site of the Headington Co-op at 152 London Road. Each of the two options had four floors (rather than the five proposed in the earlier planning application):

Option 1 (full application):
Subject of an appeal for non-determination
4,500 sq ft replacement Co-op store (to include the Post Office facility) + 92-bed hotel on three floors above

“Demolition of existing retail store (Use Class E). Erection of new building at 1 to 4 storeys containing retail store (Use Class E) and hotel (Use Class C1). Service area, landscaping, cycle parking, and drop off bays on Stile Road”:

The application was discussed by the Planning Committee in July 2023, and this draft minute says that it would have been refused if an appeal had not been lodged for non-determination. The appeal is not listed on the Planning Inspectorate website, but if it proceeds they will now make the decision instead of the city council.

Option 2 (outline application):
Withdrawn in July 2023

Research & development building with offices for 151 employees

“Outline application seeking the approval of access, layout and scale for the demolition of existing retail store (Use Class E). Erection of new building at 2 to 4 storeys to provide Use Class E floorspace comprising use for research and development and offices (including Life Sciences); ground floor coffee shop. Service area, landscaping, cycle parking, and drop off bays on Stile Road”:

Background

Headington Co‑op originally opened in 1892 on the corner of Windmill Road and in the 1930s expanded into the shops under Holyoake Hall and the top two shops in Windmill Road. In 1979 it moved to its present purpose-built premises on the site of the former Eyles & Coxeter garage. Headington Post Office moved inside this shop in February 2016, and Co‑op Travel in September 2021.

Early in 2020 MidCounties Co-op Investments Ltd sold the freehold of the whole Co-op site with vacant possession, and on 1 December 2020 Midcounties Co‑op informed its members that they had sold the Headington Co‑op site to developers because the Headington store did not fit the long-term strategy of the Society, but that they hoped to operate a convenience store on the site following the redevelopment.

The building was advertised for sale by JLL earlier that year, with the closing date for offers of 12 March 2020:

The site was bought by Cantay Estates Ltd of St Thomas's Street, Oxford (who also redeveloped another Co-op Building, Holyoake Hall, in 2005).

Midcounties Co‑op originally stated that the developers would be seeking planning permission to build a unit with shops on the ground floor and residential flats above, and the JLL brochure above mentions “alternative use potential, including student residential, subject to planning”:

Midcounties Co‑op required an option to retain a convenience store with a gross internal area of c.4,000sq. ft within any development, paying a market rent. (For comparison, the ground-floor area of the present Co‑op, including “back of house”, is 14,752 sq. ft.)

The whole Co‑op site that was sold measures c.0.6 acres and includes the car park on the opposite side of Stile Road. The current rateable value of the property is £230,000 p.a.

The planning application for a hotel on the site that Cantay Estates submitted in December 2021 was refused by Oxford City Council's Planning Committee on 8 March 2022. It was for:

“Demolition of existing retail store (Use Class E). Erection of new building at 1 to 5 storeys containing retail store (Use Class E) and hotel (Use Class C1). Service area, landscaping, cycle parking, and drop off bays on Stile Road”.

This description was changed in January 2022 from the original:

“Proposed demolition of existing buildings used as a retail store. Redevelopment of the site to provide new retail store on part ground floor (Use Class E), hotel entrance and ancillary hotel uses to other part of ground floor, and hotel rooms above (building of varying height ranging from 3 to 5 floors with inset 6th floor and ancillary plant room) (Use Class C1)”.

Following the public consultation in October 2021, changes were made to the original plan, including the reduction of the number of hotel bedrooms from 118 to 108.

Land North of Bayswater Brook

Detailed background to this development

A major development is planned by Christ Church and Dorchester Residential Development across the Green Belt farmland stretching from the Marston flyover to the Bayswater Road. Here Christ Church sums up the development and include an illustration of the new cycling and pedestrian bridge that will cross to it from Northway:

There are three current planning applications, and Christ Church and Dorchester Residential Management announced that they would be launching three appeals to the Planning Inspectorate in relation to (1) and (2) for failure to give notice of a decision:

(1) Infrastructure (full application)
Resubmitted in September 2023
for comments on revised documents

The first, submitted to both Oxford City Council and to South Oxfordshire District Council, relates to the infrastructure, including:
• Cycle/pedestrian bridge over A40
• New vehicular access on to Elsfield Lane
• Two new vehicular accesses on to Bayswater Road
• Two new public transport crossing bridges over the Bayswater Brook
• Five pedestrian/cycle bridges over the Bayswater Brook
• Flood alleviation measures

(2) Buildings (outline application)
The second planning application was submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council only, and is in two parts:
— Outline planning application for up to 1,450 dwellings, 120 assisted living dwellings, commercial/business/service buildings/health provision, a new primary school, green infrastructure, parking, surface water, and utilities
— Full planning application relating to buildings at Wick Farm, and some new buildings there, etc.

(3) Work to listed buildings on the site (full)
The third planning applications submitted only to South Oxfordshire District Council relates to existing listed buildings on the development site:
“Refurbishment works to the Main Barn and three curtilage barns and refurbishment works to the Wick Farm Well House building”

  • Current South Oxfordshire District Council planning application P22/S4550/LB

A fourth planning application to relocate the Grade II listed boundary stone dated 1684 because it interfered with the earlier proposed bus route has been withdrawn: P23/S1832/LB

Official Bayswater Oxford website

Bayswater Farm, Sandhills

The Bayswater Farm site is to the north of the bridle path that runs along the northern edge of Sandhills from Barton to Forest Hill. Although it is on the south side of the Bayswater Brook, it comes under South Oxfordshire District Council.

It was formerly part of STRAT13, one of the strategic development sites in South Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan 2035.

No planning application has yet been submitted.

In mid-February 2021 the Lone Star Group Ltd of Henley-in-Arden announced here on LinkedIn that they were “delighted to announce the acquisition and promotion of land at Bayswater Farm, Oxford. The site will deliver c130 dwellings”. They later stated here that they had acquired seven hectares of “prime Oxford real estate at Bayswater Farm” for a private client, and the proposed number of dwellings had increased from 130 to 150. That client is the Cilldara Group (Headington) Ltd, which bought the land in February 2021.

Voi e-scooters

The Department for Transport has set its e-scooter trials to continue until 1 June 2024. The Oxford trial started in 2021 with just 25 Voi scooters in Headington with restricted hours, and by 2023 there were 750 Voi scooters throughout the city available 24/7. They are easily identified by their coral colour.

Headington was initially selected by Oxfordshire County Council and Voi Scooters for a twelve-month trial of e-scooters to rent, starting on 18 February 2021, following the granting of a licence to operate by the Department for Transport to the county council.

The Voi scooters are allowed in cycle lanes but banned on pavements without lanes, and can only be used by people over 18 with a provisional or full driving licence. Riders can be banned from driving cars if prosecuted for drink-driving while riding a Voi scooter (e.g. see under 13 June 2023 here).

All privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on public roads

Changes to Risinghurst bus service, Jan 2023

The Stagecoach No.14 bus service between Oxford railway station and the JR continues to run up to every 30 minutes but is now diverted via Northway and Old Marston. There will also be an hourly extension of this service to Risinghurst

The Oxford Bus Company (which since October 2022 has been owned by Gerrard Investment Bidco Ltd which took over the Go-Ahead Group) withdrew the No. 9 and City 13 buses, reduced the No. 8 service, and more:

Regeneration of Headington Centre

Headington Action and the Headington Neighbourhood Forum, supported by Oxford City Council, are preparing the Headington Centre Improvement Plan. They have employed the urban design practice AR Urbanism (with the support of Wedderburn Transport Planning) to identify ideas and prepare a plan to implement the vision.

Traffic schemes affecting Headington

(1) Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan

This was approved with modifications by the county council's cabinet in November 2022 and will be republished in the summer of 2023:

(2) Trial traffic filters

On 29 November 2022 the county council's cabinet agreed to trial six traffic filters in Oxford (including one in Headley Way in Headington), but only after the Botley Road reopens (probably in December 2023):

(3) LTNs in Headington

The trial of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Headington was due to go ahead in Spring 2022 but appears to have been indefinitely delayed:

Details of the proposals are here on the Headington LibDem website:

Residents from across Headington formed a group called Headington Liveable Streets in May 2020. Join their mailing list to find out what is going on.

Developments on Ruskin site

The following planning application by the University of West London (UWL), which acquired Ruskin College in Dunstan Road in July 2021, has been approved:

"Demolition of the existing 24-bed student accommodation building (Bowen Building) and erection of 65-bed student accommodation building and erection of 30-bed student accommodation building with associated landscaping":

This is an updated version of the previous planning approval (which expired in 2021) for two new student accommodation buildings on the site (17/02387/FUL). It results in a net gain of 71 new student rooms.

Condition 6 (CEMP Biodiversity) was approved on 4 October, and so work is now allowed to start: 22/00962/CND3

Barton Park development

A major new planning application was approved on 10 August 2022, relating to Phase 2 and the whole of Phase 4, which includes the commercial buildings:

Work started in 2015, and the current situation is as follows:

  • Phase 1: Hill has completed the primary school and all of its 237 homes (“Mosaics”)
  • Phase 3: Redrow expects to complete the building of its 207 homes in 2005 (“The Steeples”)
  • Phases 2 & 4: Countryside Housebuilding West was preparing to start on the final largest phase comprising 441 homes (“Beckley Place”) plus the retail space at the end of 2022, but work came to a halt. Countryside was subsequently combined with the Vistry Group and this final part of the Barton Park development is now expected to be completed in 2027.

For full details about the whole development, please see the separate page: Barton Park development

Old Road Campus developments
Poonawalla Vaccines Research Building

A £50m Poonawalla Vaccines Research Building will be built on the Old Road campus and will house over 300 research scientists

Pandemic Sciences Centre

This is a multidisciplinary initiative to create collaborative science-driven solutions to identify, prepare for, and counter pandemic threats, and will be on the same site as the Poonwalla Vaccines Research Building.

Institute for Global Health

The following planning application was approved by the Oxford Planning Committee on 8 June 2022:

“Construction of 4552 square metres of office, research and teaching space (F.1 Use Class) for the Institute for Global Health. Provision of an outbuilding to provide cycle parking, bin storage and associated sprinkler system with associated hard and soft landscaping works”.

Churchill Hospital developments

A planning application was submitted in September 2023 for “Erection of a modular manufacturing building (Use Class E). Extension to service road. Installation of generator with palisade fencing, electrical transformer, vehicle barriers, bollards and lampposts. Provision of car and cycle parking, loading area, fencing and landscaping”:

John Radcliffe Hospital developments

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust submitted a planning application in September 2023 for “Erection of a modular theatre building including associated infrastructure, landscaping and parking”:

Another major Thornhill development approved

On 13 December 2022 planners resolved to approve the application submitted by the Shaviram Group for a major development in Risinghurst subject to the conditions specified in the minutes of that meeting:

The site is behind and to the west of their existing Thornhill Court and Marley House flats at the Thornhill Park development in the former Nielsen's offices. The description of the plans is as follows:

“Demolition of The Cottage building. Partial demolition and alterations to Forest Lodge building. Erection of 402 apartments (Class C3), a 133 bed hotel (Class C1), employment provision in the form of offices, with additional mixed use accommodation to include gym, café and restaurant (all within Class E), public open space, associated landscape, bicycle and car parking and the provision of a new vehicular access onto the A40”.

The planning application has not yet been approved, as the section 106 agreement has not yet been finalized.

Soon after the planning meeting Sandhill Development Ltd (Shavriam Group) put up for sale as a development opportunity the part of their site at Thornhill that relates to the 133-bedroom hotel, with offers to be in by 20 March 2023:

295–301 London Road: Plans approved

The full planning application for the redevelopment of the existing Sikh Gurdwara and “Demolition of existing two-storey building. Erection of a part two-, part three-storey building to create 5 x 2 bed and 2 x 1 bed flats. Provision of bin and cycle storage along with private amenity space” was approved by the East Area Planning Committee on 2 September 2020. The plans were called in and subsequently approved by the Planning Review Committee on 15 October 2020:

This building was built for the Currill family in 1890 as a house and a shoe shop. In more recent years it was occupied by Sharp & Howse.

Two earlier planning applications

(1) A planning application submitted in February 2019 was withdrawn: this was for “Outline application with all matters reserved apart from scale and access for the demolition of existing two storey building comprising offices at ground floor level and 2 x 1-bed flats at first floor level and its replacement with a three-storey building comprising eight flats (2 x 1-bed flats, 4 x 2-bed flats and 2 x 3-bed flats) along with access to the rear at the site (serving a car park belonging to the adjacent Sikh Temple). Provision bin and cycle storage and private amenity space.”

(2) A planning application for the conversion of existing offices on this site into two shops was approved on 7 February 2018:

 

Twitter

For up-to-the-minute information:

follow @HeadingtonNews on Twitter

T W I T T E R   (aka “X”)

For up-to-date daily news on what is going on in Headington,
please consider joining Twitter and follow

@HeadingtonNews

Shop and businesses changes in 2023
The Chequers pub, Headington Quarry

This pub in Beaumont Road has been sold, and a planning application was submitted in August 2023 to convert it into a single large private house:

Four Seasons Chinese restaurant

The Four Seasons Chinese restaurant opened on 17 February 2023 at 65 London Road (formerly occupied by Flipping Burgerz, which closed in June 2022). Two planning applications were approved, and a licence granted:

  • Alterations to shopfront to include new signage and entrance
    (approved application 22/02062/FUL)
  • Display of 1no externally illuminated fascia sign
    (approved application 22/02063/ADV)
  • Current licence (22/03846/PREM) for the sale of alcohol and indoor recorded music
Lush Nails & Spa moved into former Frog Orange

In June 2023 Lush Nails & Spa moved into the former Frog Orange shop at 4 The Parade, Windmill Road which closed down in April 2023.

NatWest Bank closed

The NatWest Bank at 89–91 London Road closed on 7 February 2023. The building, whose freehold was bought by Pinky Pinks Property Ltd (registered in the British Virgin Islands) for £645,000 on 5 September 2013 (ON103063) is currently advertised to let at a rent of £40,000 a year by Green & Partners (which is dealing nationally with “NatWest disposal”).

Ice Hair closed

Ice Hair at 11 Windmill Road closed down on 7 February 2023.

Adria moved to new premises nearby

Adria Pizzeria & Gelateria moved a few doors down from Simon House to the former Japlene shop at 6 Windmill Road in January 2023. Its licensing application to serve alcohol (22/02855/PREM) was approved. .

In May 2020 planning permission for the former Japlene shop was granted to Armend Qyqalla (owner of both the nearby Armends Barber Shop and Adria) for “Change of use of ground floor shop (A1) to Restaurant and Cafes (A3). Change of use to first floor from shop (Use Class A1) to 1 x 1 bed flat (Use Class C3). Erection of part single-, part two-storey rear extension, formation of external staircase to north and west elevations, insertion of 1no. door and 1no. rooflight to north elevation, insertion of 1no. rooflight to west elevation and alterations to fenestration to east elevation. Provision of bin and cycle stores”: 20/00812/FUL.

Japlene at 6 Windmill Road closed at Christmas 2018 and moved to 28 The Hill, Garsington, and there has been extensive building work, to the building, including converting the first floor into a flat (19/00057/FUL).

Bliss Hair Salon

This is due to open in Adria's former premises at 5 Simon House. (The hexagonal sign over the door originally said “Le Vin Café”, but there appears to have been a change of plan.)

Oxford Orthodontic Centre

Pen to Paper at 95 London Road closed permanently on 8 May 2022 after the building was sold to the Oxford Orthodontic Centre upstairs, which made extensive alterations and has since May 2023 occupied both the ground-floor and part of the second floor.

In October 2023 planning permission was refused to turn the two upstairs floors at the back of the premises into a two-bedroomed dwelling.

Lemon Garden to become takeaway

This former dessert café at 113 London Road is being refurbished as a takeaway. A planning application was approved in April 2023 for “Change of use application from Café (Use Class E) to a hot food takeaway (Sui Generis), Installation of 1no. condenser unit and 1no. extractor flue to rear elevation”:

KFC opens in Windmill Road

KFC opened in the former Queen's/Oxford Fine Food Store at 1–3 Windmill Road on 18 October 2023 following two months of extensive renovations. Agimude Ltd of Cheltenham, the owners of the property, applied for and were granted planning permission for “Change of use of ground floor commercial premises (Use Class E) to a mixed use restaurant/takeaway (Sui Generis). Alterations to shopfront. Installation of an air vent, 2no condensing units and 2no AC units to the rear elevation”:

The Oxford Fine Food Store closed just a few months after it opened in 2022, and the premises were advertised to let with Quintons at £32,000 p.a.

 

Vacant premises in Headington centre
Former Sue Ryder charity shop/Clovers

2A Windmill Road

This was advertised as to let by Benedicts Consultant Surveyors at a rent of £25,000 p.a. or for sale at a price of £375,000

A planning application was submitted in July 2023 for “Change of use of first floor from Retail (Use Class A1) to 1 x 2 bed dwelling (Use Class C3). Provision of bin and cycle stores including formation of screening” (23/01714/FUL).

Former Coventry Building Society

133–135 London Road

Ashken Ltd (RMA Properties) have been granted planning permission for proposed (but unspecific) restaurant use at the former Coventry Building Society premises at 133–135 London Road (near Bury Knowle Park)

Former NatWest Bank

89–91 London Road

Former Co-op Travel

Unit 1B, Holyoake Hall

Former Leaders

2 Windmill Road

Former Ice Hair

11 Windmill Road

New 5G telecommunications masts

So far nine planning applications for 5G telecommunications poles and ancillary 5G equipment in Headington have been approved and five replacement 5G poles allowed, as well as replacement 5G equipment on the roofs of other Headington buildings.

Site of former Quarry Gate pub

The Quarry Gate pub at 19 Wharton Road was demolished in 2015, but the site still remains undeveloped. Seville Developments have submitted five planning applications for the site.

The latest plan, submitted in September 2023, is for “Erection of 3 x 4-bed dwellinghouses (Use Class C3). Provision of car parking, private amenity space and bin and cycle stores”:

Their fourth (full) planning application was approved on 19 October 2021. This was for:“Erection of a 1 x 4 -bed dwelling with garage (Use Class C3) and 4 x 2-bed apartments (Use Class C3). Provision of landscaping and bin and cycle storage”:

Their third (full) planning application was approved in June 2021. This was for: “Erection of 3 x 4-bed dwellinghouses (Use Class C3). Provision of car parking, private amenity space, bin and bike stores”:

Their second (outline) planning application was approved on 22 May 2020. This was for:“Outline application (seeking approval of access, layout and scale) for the erection of 1 x 3-bed dwelling and 2 x 4-bed dwellings”:

Their first planning application was refused on 19 June 2018 on the grounds that it “fails to relate to the strong sense of character of the surrounding area”. It was for:“Erection of 1 x 3-bed and 2 x 4-bed dwellinghouses (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, bin and cycle storage and car parking spaces”:

Brookes: Headington Hill Hall site
(1) New Engineering Building

A planning application was approved on 21 June 2022 for an Engineering Building on the site of the ancillary car park next to the Richard Hamilton Building:

(2) Temporary Children's Nursery

A planning application for a temporary children’s nursery building in the garden of Headington Hill Hall was withdrawn in July 2022:

(3) John Garne Way Development

On 12 October 2021 the Oxford Planning Committee refused this revised application by Oxford Brookes University to replace twelve buildings at Clive Booth student village in John Garne Way, but it was called in to the Planning Review Committee by thirteen city councillors (details here), and was approved at its meeting on 11 November 2021. It is for:

“Demolition of twelve buildings (including main accommodation Blocks C, F, G, H, J, K, L and M) and erection of twelve buildings to provide student accommodation, with ancillary communal and social facilities and associated administrative building (Class C2). Erection of children's nursery (Class E). Alterations to car parking, installation of cycle parking structures and associated landscaping works, including reorganisation of existing footpaths and cycle ways, drainage features and ancillary development. Installation of a waste compactor unit and alterations to an existing road to enable access”

On 11 December 2021 the following article by Peter Hitchens condemning this decision was published in the Spectator:
Only a benevolent dictator can save Oxford
(but note that only two articles can be viewed as a guest)

(4) Cuckoo Lane footpath

Planning permission was granted to Oxford Brookes University in January 2022 for its amended its planning application relating to the Cuckoo Lane footpath, which includes partial demolition of the boundary wall (which is curtilage listed) to form a new entrance gap, and closing the existing gap.

(5) New Technology, Design, & Environment building
(on site of Helena Kennedy Building)

The original planning application by Oxford Brookes for the demolition of the existing Helena Kennedy building and the erection of a replacement academic building for the Faculty of Technology, Design, and Environment was approved on 1 August 2018:

The designs were shown at a public exhibition in March 2018:

The plans were delayed, however, as asbestos was found in the ground, and a revised application incorporating a basement was submitted:

Ivy Lane flats

On 6 November 2019 the East Area Planning Committee approved the following planning applications submitted by A2 Dominion South Ltd for new flats on the Ivy Lane site at the John Radcliffe Hospital::

“Demolition of existing buildings. Phased construction of key worker housing comprising 56 cluster units, 21 x one-bed studio apartments, 48 flats (17 x one-bed, 31 x two-beds), management office and associated works including parking and landscaping”.

There were formerly 408 key-worker bedrooms on the Ivy Lane site, and the new development will provide 468.

a2dominion: Application form for key workers to apply current accommodation at Ivy Lane (not the new-build flats)

The six new houses in Quarry High Street

The fate of these six new houses has not yet been decided by the Planning Inspector.

Following the raising of concerns about the height of this mews block of six houses near the recreation ground and its closeness to the street, on 5 January 2022 Oxford City Council served an enforcement notice on the owner giving six months to demolish the houses and another month to clear the site.

The developers, “Quarry Mews Ltd” (Jonathan and Sarah Beecher of Beecher Acoustics at 1 Quarry High Street), lodged an appeal on 15 February 2022 against the enforcement notice:

None the less at least one of the houses was advertised to rent at £1,295.00 per month from 22 May 2022.

Background

The original planning application for the site (05/02065/FUL) was withdrawn following opposition by local residents.

The amended planning approved application was for:
“Demolition of existing workshop building and outbuildings. Retention of existing shop and one bedroom flat. Erection of 2-storey workshop building, with music room and office. Erection of 6 x 1 bedroom dwellings in a 3- storey terrace. Alterations to the existing access and formation of 9 car parking spaces (3 for the workshop and 6 for the dwellings)”.
The workshop behind Beecher Acoustics at 1 Quarry High Street is already complete.

A separate application was submitted for “Conservation area consent for demolition of existing workshop building and outbuildings” and this includes documents relevant to the new buildings as well as the demolition, plus the comments on the application, but this has reverted to the original application approved in March 2006:

An application originally submitted in January 2020, “Details submitted in compliance with condition 2 (Samples of exterior materials) of planning permission 06/00023/FU” was resubmitted in March 2021 but has now been removed:

An application submitted in December 2020, “Details submitted in compliance with condition 7 (new tree pit / planting specifications) and 16 (confirmation of contaminated soil removal/replacement) of planning permission 06/00023/FUL” was refused in February 2021:

The following application was submitted in March 2021:

“Details submitted in compliance with conditions 3 (Details of the stone wall), 4 (Details of the building/alterations and external finish), 7 (Landscape plan), 9 (Details) 10 (Parking) 12 (Footway) 16 (Desk-top study) and 18 (Front boundary) of planning permission 06/00023/FUL”:

Former Crown & Thistle pub, 132 Old Road

This pub closed down on 31 December 2011, and on 30 November 2012 the freehold of the building was purchased from Greene King for £425,000 by developers (S. P. Singh, S. J. Kaur, and G. Kaur).

On 23 September 2022 the following application was refused: “Permission in principle application for the re-development of the former public house for between 7no. and 9no. dwellings (Use Class C3) (All matters of design including scale, demolition and/or conversion and all technical matters reserved for future application)”
(Amended description)

On 26 June 2013 the developers were granted planning permission to build the three four-bedroomed houses that now stand in its large car park to the west:

This building was given Heritage Asset status on 23 March 2022:

New flats in Headington
(1) Developments following Lime Walk test case

In September 2019 the Planning Inspector for the 4 Lime Walk planning appeal confirmed that no provision for affordable housing need be made on that site. This set a precedent for all developments of between 4 and 9 flats, and a high number of applications have been submitted in Oxford since that date.

(2) Offices/shops/banks/restaurants to flats

Since May 2014 it has been possible to convert offices to homes under permitted development rights (as long as specified aspects such as transport and highway impacts, and contamination and flooding risks are checked first). When the government brought in this scheme in 2013, officials anticipated that it might result in as few as five extra conversion projects a year across the whole of England, but very soon there were ten successful applications in the Headington area alone, the most significant being the conversion of Nielsen's at Thornhill Park

On 1 August 2021 this Class O permitted development right for conversions of offices to residences was replaced by Class MA, which now includes all Class E properties (shops, banks. and restaurants) as well as offices, with a maximum size limit of 1,500 square metres:

(3) Rooftop extensions to dwellings

Following revised permitted development rights adopted in September 2020, rooftop extensions are allowed without obtaining planning permission but still need prior approval. These applications have the suffix BFL56, and so far only one has been approved (at Girdlestone Close)

HMO legislation

A house in multi-occupation in Oxford must have C4 planning permission, which is unlikely to be granted in streets that already have a high proportion of student housing. The following appeals by landlords relating to the refusal of change of use from C3 to C4 status in Headington were refused:

In addition, since 24 February 2012, Oxford City Council regulations have required that a house with just three or four unrelated occupants is licensed as a HMO. Licences for these smaller houses are awarded subject to modifications being made within six months (e.g. a cooker now has to have a work-surface on each side; there must be a wired in smoke-detector on each floor and a heat detector in the kitchen; the kitchen area must be fitted with a fire door; and where the front door can be double-locked, a box with key and hammer has to be attached to the wall).

Headington city council ward

The LibDem councillors have a website with news relating to the central Headington ward. As their ward includes most of the central shopping area, it will also be of interest to people in other parts of Headington.

Headington Action revised grant schemes

Headington Action can provide small grants for projects that will benefit the local community.  There are two types of grant: Small Sparks Grants offer start-up funding, typically to enable new projects to ‘get off the ground’, while Community Support Grants provide for other community activities.  Normal limits are £250 for Small Sparks and £500 for Community Support Grants. 

Application forms and further details are available here on the Headington Action website.

Letting out driveways for parking

In July 2015 JustPark wrote to nearly every household in Headington suggesting that they could earn £1500 a year renting out their driveway. A search for "Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom" on their website reveals that over 100 people in the area were already doing this with them:

Other similar companies are also operating in the area:
ParkLet and Your Parking Space and Park on My Drive.

Property in Headington owned offshore

In 2012 Private Eye put online an interactive map showing all English and Welsh property acquired by overseas companies between 2005 and December 2014.

Local Elections: none in city in 2023

There were no elections in Oxford City in May 2023, because all Oxfordshire County Councillors had already been elected to 2025 and all Oxford City Councillors either to 2024 or to 2026. The four Oxfordshire District Councils did however have elections and here are the results:

Bullingdon Community Centre reopened

The keys of the newly rebuilt Bullingdon Community Centre in Peat Moors were handed over to the local community association and it opened in January 2023.

The old Bullingdon Community Centre was in poor condition and was demolished in September 2021. The following planning application (submitted by Oxford City Council via their agent Jessop & Cook architects) for a new building of light grey brick with green metal cladding was approved in February 2020:

The new designs for the replacement centre were revealed by the city council in July 2019.

Its rebuilding was postponed in June 2020 to address the city council's Coronavirus funding gap:

The initial plans approved in March 2018 for “Part demolition of existing community centre. Erection of part single part double height front and side extension” were abandoned when the city council discovered that a filled-in quarry was buried beneath the building:

Why the name Bullingdon?

Repatriation tributes in Headley Way

The John Radcliffe Hospital houses the Armed Forces Department of Pathology, and when members of the forces are killed their bodies are taken there. The funeral cortège passes through Marsh Lane and Headington on their way to the hospital.

These repatriations are now thankfully very rare, but from March 2008 to May 2014 the Royal British Legion, joined by members of the public, held 153 repatriation tributes for 321 members of the services outside St Anthony of Padua Church in Headley Way:

Sign up on the official Oxfordshire County Council website to be notified of any future repatriation dates and times:

 

Can’t find a news item?

Older news items are moved to separate pages. Links to news pages from 2001 to 2022 can be found at the foot of this page.