The C.S. Lewis Foundation and C.S. Lewis’s stepson Doug Gresham say they have been shocked by a scheme to build sheltered accommodation with an access road running past The Kilns and the neighbouring nature park in Risinghurst.
C.S. Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham toured the "Narnia" nature reserve in Risinghurst and pronounced it "shabby":
Slade House, a care facility for people with serious learning disabilities at Horspath Driftway, Headington, has been told to stop taking admissions following a damning inspection.
The freehold of Kennett House (on the corner of Kennett Road and London Road) was sold for £2,500,000 on 3 December at an Allsop auction.
This large block comprises the HSBC Bank, Iceland, and two charity shops on the ground floor, and two floors of Oxford Brookes offices upstairs. The longest remaining lease is that of Bejam (which underlets the shop to Iceland): this had a 63-year lease from Christmas Day 1963, which therefore reverts in 2026.
Work started in November 2013 on this Saccary Estates building project to replace the storage area behind Jacobs & Field by a shop/office with flats above. Planning application 11/01013/FUL (“Demolition of rear storage area and construction of A1/A2 unit, with 2 flats (1x2, 1x1 bed) above”) was approved on 26 May 2011. Jacobs & Field have the option on the shop.
The new development to the west of Barton is to be called Barton Park: press release
For more details and the background, please see the separate page:
You can respond to the consultation about the new school here (closes 18 December 2013).
Note that Oxfordshire County Council will not run the new school: the 2011 Education Act says that all new schools are expected to be academies.
The Oxford Times of 14 November 2013 reported as follows (article not available on the web):
Oxfordshire County Council’s 18-month experimental closure of the crossover gap in the central reservation of the A40 London Road dual carriageway at its junction with Collinwood Road started on 21 May 2012 has ended, and although Risinghurst residents back its reopening, it will be closed permanently.
The county council consultation on transport problems in Headington and the surrounding areas closed on 11 October 2013. TonyOX3 posted the responses of the Friends of Old Headington, Oxford Civic Society, the two Headington Ward LibDem councillors, and Headington Action here
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has taken over the ownership of Warneford Meadow in Headington from the Department of Health, pledging to preserve it for the community.
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 12/00064/CC3 and 12/00063/CC3.
The city council’s leisure department has moved out of Bury Knowle House, where it occupied the first floor, and are now advertising the offices there for rent. The city councillors for Headington Ward are looking into possible community use here on a temporary basis, and the possibility of more permanent use of the basement for community storage.
(1) Stables & Barn
Amendments to planning permission for Bury Knowle Stables & Barn have been approved; application 13/02664/FUL was for “Conversion of Bury Knowle Stables and Barn to 1 x 2-bed dwelling (stables) and 1 x 4-bed dwelling (barn) (Use Class C3). Provision of parking and bin and bicycle stores. Demolition of outbuilding and lean-to (amendments to planning permission 12/01605/CT3).”
The stables and barn were sold by Kemp & Kemp (offers in excess of £450,000 were invited).
The East Area Planning Committee approved the original plans on 6 September 2012 to convert these buildings into three two-bedroomed dwellings: 12/01605/CT3. (An earlier application was withdrawn pending a decision by English Heritage.)
The buildings belong to Oxford City Council, which is currently selling off its redundant property.
(2) Depot site
Planning application 13/01814/CT3 was approved by the East Area Planning Committee on Wednesday 4 September, but with extra conditions and informatives proposed by Cllrs Rundle & Wilkinson. It is for "Erection of 2 x 1-bed, 7 x 2-bed and 1 x 3-bed residential units (use class C3) in 3 blocks arranged around central courtyard, together with covered cycle and bin stores, and landscaping" on the former city council depot site in Bury Knowle Park. A second application 13/01815/CAC was for Conservation Area Consent to demolish the existing sheds.
Earlier planning application 12/02622/CT3 was approved on 16 April 2012 but that decision was called in and then withdrawn.
The new 800 and 900 bus routes that came into effect on 23 September 2013 are reported to have few passengers:
These new Stagecoach services are as follows (note that they operate Monday to Friday only):
The existing 700 service has been extended to Kidlington, serving Water Eaton Park and Ride and the JR, Churchill, and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
A new 800 service runs between the Thornhill Park & Ride and the JR Hospital (routed along Osler Road)
A new 900 service links the Thornhill Park & Ride, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Churchill
Headington now has two large supermarkets (the Co-op and Waitrose) and three smaller ones (Morrisons, Londis and Iceland). In addition Sainsbury’s is expected in early 2014, and Tesco is also believed to be making plans:
Morrisons opened on 28 October 2013 at 73–75 London Road (the former Blockbusters store, which closed down on 20 March). The following licence and planning applications were approved:
Sainsbury’s will move into 98 London Road, currently occupied by Peacock’s, in 2014. Three planning applications and a licence application have been approved:
A fourth planning application that was opposed by local residents has been withdrawn: this was 13/01811/FUL for “Installation of two aluminium louvres to rear elevation in association with internal plant machinery”. The replacement application 13/02887/FUL was submitted on 28 October
Tesco is in talks about opening a store on the London Road, but it has not announced whose premises it plans to take over, and rumours are rife. One possible site is the former Up & Running shop and the Oxford Furniture Store, both of whom have moved after being served with notice to quit (see below).
Brambles at 93 London Road closed on 30 November 2013 after 18 years in Headington. The freehold of this A1 retail unit with accommodation above was for sale with Scott Fraser, and the Oxford Furniture Warehouse is now renting the shop from the new owner.
Londis on the London Road was granted an extension to its licence to enable it to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Local Plan is designed to protect the Headington shopping centre. No café or takeaway (A3/A5) use should be granted until the number of A1 (retail) shops at ground-floor level rises above 65%. Hence planning applications by coffee shops (A3) and offices (A2) are being turned down.
The link below gives further details about recent applications and appeals as well as similar applications in the past:
This café at 3 Manor Buildings, Osler Road closed on 3 July 2013 after 24 years in Headington. Liggins Thomas have been advertising that it is to let, and at the end of October 2013 the sign was changed to read “Under offer”. First a kebab shop and then Jacobs & Field implied on Twitter that they would be taking this café on.
This shop at 113 London Road (formerly Caffe Toscano), is classified as A1 retail and closed in January 2013.
This shop at 138/140 London Road, which is understood to be owned by Connell’s Estate Agents opposite, has been closed since 2012, when the franchisee gave up the business. All enquiries to MR Property Consultants, 01628 529929.
This pawn shop at 112 London Road closed down near the beginning of August 2013.
Rosemary’s Restaurant at 81 London Road has been named the Rose Tree, and planning application 13/02820/ADV has been submitted for a new internally illuminated fascia sign.
The Chequers at 17A Beaumont Road, Headington Quarry has submitted planning application 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.”
Enterprise Inns have sold the Fairview Inn in Glebelands, and it is likely to stay open as a pub, even though Fleurets had put it up for sale with “alternative use potential”.
Local residents ran a campaign to keep it as a pub, and a nomination to make it an “Asset of Community Value” was agreed by the city council; but they failed to raise enough money to buy it.
The Crown & Thistle pub in Old Road has been closed since December 2011. Three men from Marston bought the pub from Greene King for £425,000 at the beginning of 2013, and planning application 13/01588/FUL that they submitted in June to build three four-bedroomed houses on its car park has been approved.
Fleurets sold the pub, and an article on this page of the Sidney Phillips property magazine confirms that there were seventeen offers for it, and that Shinder Pal Singh, one of the three new owners, intended “to consider alternative uses for the property”. There is a possibility that the pub itself may remain.
This pub, which has been for sale for a very long time (with its price latterly reduced from £899,000 to £775.000) was boarded up in August 2013.
Everards have purchased the freehold of the Black Boy pub in Old Headington from Greene King, but the restaurant will continue as before under the same management.
Former Nottingham Forest footballer Darren Brett took over the Six Bells on Beaumont Road, Quarry in 2013
Planning application 13/02963/FUL has been submitted for external alterations involving new lighting, redecoration, and new doors.
New students moved into the rooms on this site in September 2013.
Planning application 11/01681/FUL by property developers I & O Ltd for “58 ensuite student rooms with shared facilities and warden’s room on three floors” was approved in 2011. (This did not include the shop that was part of the earlier approved application (10/03215/FUL). Demolition of the Cavalier pub at 148 Copse Lane, which was built in 1956 to serve the Northway estate, started in week ending 27 April 2012 (picture).
Hillsboro, the house at 14 Holyoake Road where C. S. Lewis lived with Mrs Moore in the 1920s before buying The Kilns with her, has been advertised as land for potential re-development and is now under offer.
The name Hillsboro can be seen engraved over the downstairs window. Lewis must have been on his way up to this house when he was famously converted to Christianity in 1929 while on a bus going up Headington Hill.
In recent years there was a chiropractice at this house.
The decision on the new Warren Crescent housing that affects Lye Valley was deferred by the East Area Planning Committee on 4 September 2013.
A planning application was submitted on 24 June 2013 for “Erection of 10 x 3-bed dwellings (use class C3) together with associated car parking, cycle and bin storage. Diversion of public footpath”. The Friends of Lye Valley have concerns about this.
Martin Young has launched another appeal, claiming that the permission granted to him in 1974 to build chalets is still valid. This will be held in the Panel Room at Oxford Town Hall on Tuesday 11 February 2014
Application 13/02076/FUL for the erection of a two-bedroom dwelling at 7 Stephen Road was approved in September 2013. An earlier planning application 12/01926/FUL for a house on this site was refused on the grounds that (1) it would be a discordant and contrived feature in the street scene and (2) there has been no field evaluation in respect of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery near the site.
Nos. 10 and 12 Stephen Road and adjacent garages were demolished in 2012, and eight new homes were completed in August 2013. Planning permission was granted in December 2008 (08/01961/FUL) for: “Demolition of existing property to create 4x3 bed houses, 3x1 bed apartments and 1x2 bed duplex apartment. On plot car parking. Retention of existing commercial unit and parking at rear.”
The consultation on the proposed bus lane near the Green Road Roundabout closed on 25 July.
The East Area Planning Committee on 3 July approved the planning application by Thomas Homes for the Cricket Ground in Barton Road, namely the erection of 30 residential units (8 x 4 bed houses, 17 x 3 bed houses, 2 x 2 bed flats and 3 x 1 bed flats) together with access road, 51 car parking spaces, 60 cycle parking spaces, public open space and landscaping.
The two Northway planning applications for the £18m regeneration project in Northway and Cowley, headed by Kevin McCloud, were approved by the East Area Planning Committee on 5 June 2013; and the Planning Review Committee approved the associated Cowley application on 25 June.
The building work will be carried out by Haboakus (McCloud’s development company Hab in partnership with the housing association GreenSquare):
Oxford City Council is providing land in Northway for developers Haboakus, who in return will rebuild Northway community centre and provide 41 affordable homes in Dora Carr Close and 28 flats in Westlands Drive. The Emmaus Charity furniture store will move to Cowley.
Quarry & Risinghurst city councillor Dee Sinclair is Lord Mayor of Oxford until May 2014.
Find out more on the Headington Plan website:
The county council introduced short-stay charges of £2.00 at Thornhill Park & Ride, and the increase of long-stay charges, in November 2013.
Work on creating the 500 new spaces at Thornhill Park & Ride commenced in January and was completed in July 2013. The number of parking spaces rose from 850 to 1,356. Before work could start, grass snakes had to be relocated. The site is to the east of the existing site (see plan), not as originally stated in the Oxford Mail below.
The county council is spending most of Oxford’s £5m transport grant from the Government on the Headington area. Its original plans were:
Another outline planning application (12/03053/OUT) relating to the area to the rear of 1–9 Coppock Close submitted in November 2012 was refused. This is for “Demolition of two garages. Erection of 2 x single storey, one bedroom detached dwellings with provision of private amenity space, 2 parking spaces and cycle and bin storage.”
An earlier outline planning application to demolish the block of eleven garages to and erect three single-storey one-bedroomed bungalows was refused in March 2012 (11/03287/OUT) .
A new £138m cancer research centre will be built near the Churchill Hospital.
Since 24 February 2012, Oxford City Council regulations have required that a house with just three or four unrelated occupants is licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation.
This is in addition to the prerequisite that such a house must have C4 planning permission, which is unlikely to be granted in future in those side-streets already saturated with student housing.
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).
For up-to-the-minute information:
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A new Friends of Headington Hill Park group is being set up
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 have been sold for development, 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.
(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:
(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 submitted in November 2013.
(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.
The public consultation on the draft appraisal closed on 24 July 2012 and the revised draft was approved by the City Council’s East Area Planning Committee on 10 December 2012.
The East Oxford Community Classics Centre was officially opened by Professor Mary Beard at Cheney School, Headington on 24 October. All classes (for adults and children) are free and open to the public, but you need to book.
EF are drawing up new plans for the EF International Academy, based at Cotuit Hall on the west side of Pullen’s Lane. They withdrew planning application 12/01106/FUL following concerns expressed by local residents.
The Academy is a school for 16–18-year-olds on two-year residential courses studying for A-levels and the International Baccalaureate. At the moment Cotuit Hall is used only for teaching, but the college hopes to expand it to accommodate 350 boarding students in 142 bedrooms (with between one and three students per room).
West Waddy unveiled their plans to redevelop the Cotuit Hall site at two open community events on 2/3 March and 20/21 April 2012, and the withdrawn planning application submitted in May 2012 was for “Erection of 3 new buildings on 3 floors plus basement to provide teaching, residential and ancillary accommodation, together with underground common room to frontage. Refurbishment of existing Marcus and Brewer buildings, including alteration to existing elevations. Provision of new pedestrian footpath from Pullens Lane”.
A Headington Hill Umbrella Group (HHUG) was formed by local residents:
EF bought Cotuit Hall (which previously housed 102 Brookes students) from Oxford Brookes University in 2011.
The EF Language School was required (under the granting of planning permission 07/02499/FUL) to provide public art. Their application 11/00034/VAR to delete this requirement was refused on 7 March 2011.
They then submitted application 13/00284/VAR (1) to legitimize the delay and (2) to reveal their design for a marble seat inside their grounds (the former Plater College). The former part of the application was approved on 12 April, but the public art shown on the plans was not approved.
A planning application by Ivor Rhys Ltd on behalf of Haseley Homes Ltd for the rear of 82, 84 and 86 Windmill Road, next to Norton Close, has been approved. It is for “Erection of 2x3 bed dwellings and 1x2 bed dwelling (Class C3) in terraced block with associated bin and cycle stores”.
The appeal against the refusal of their former plans for a two-storey block of five flats and three terraced homes was dismissed on 21 January 2013.
Oxfordshire County Council agreed in early 2013 that Windmill Primary School should have a three-class entry, making it the largest primary school in the county.
The consultation on the County Council’s proposal to expand Windmill Primary School closed on 6 February 2013:
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 and flat above are now for sale.
This shop (which is classified A1 retail) was empty from October 2011. The former leaseholder was planning to sell the business to Martin’s estate agents, but the city council planning department told Martin’s that they would have to apply for planning permission for change of use, and that previous applications for A2 (office) and A3 (café) had been refused: 11/02344/PDC.
The shop was formerly the Chef’s Pantry, followed by La Plaza (which closed in 2004 when it failed to get a certificate of lawfulness (04/00942/CEU) authorizing its A3 café use); the Copacabana Café; and latterly the Caffe Toscano (which, despite its name, was deemed to be retail by the city council).
Headington School has submitted planning application 13/02697/FUL 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".
Work on the extension to Headington Preparatory School was completed in September 2013.
The plans (11/02528/FUL) were approved at the East Area Planning Committee on 3 April 2012 and comprise: “Construction of two-storey entrance foyer. Single storey extension to form kitchen. First-floor extension to provide store and teaching space. Two-storey extension to provide cloakroom. New entrance lobby at rear with canopy over library.”
The Sites and Housing Plan was adopted in February 2013
The Consultation on the Sites and Housing Development Plan ran from 10 February to 23 March 2012:
Although this plan no longer included Headington Car Park, there are still another 21 Headington sites on the list.
Members of the Royal British Legion always hold tributes outside St Anthony of Padua Church as the funeral cortège passes along Headley Way, and members of the general public are welcome to join them.
Since March 2008 war dead from Afghanistan have passed through Marsh Lane and Headington on their way to the John Radcliffe Hospital (which houses the special armed forces department of pathology). Headington has held 130 repatriation tributes for 272 members of the services who have died.
There is a campaign for a memorial to be put on the roundabout at the Final Turn to the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Sign up on the official Oxfordshire County Council website to be notified of repatriation dates and times:
All Seasons Guest House in Windmill Road was refused planning permission in 2013 for “Change of use of outbuilding (use class B8) to form guest accommodation and alterations to existing guest house (use class C1) to create 8 bedroom guest house (use class C1) with ancillary works including parking and cycle provision”.
If you go to GoogleMaps you will find that there are new StreetView images for Headington that were taken over the summer of 2012 (month of image varies and is given at the bottom of the screen).
Oxford City Council has replaced some of the larger bins in Headington car park near Waitrose with smaller ones to make more room. There are now 14 recycling bins there, some of them provided by charities.
In May 2013 the County Council completed a £70,000 scheme to make the section of Jack Straw’s Lane between Doris Field Close and Staunton Road the first bicycle street in Oxford, with a line down the middle separating two wide cycle lanes. Drivers are expected to wait behind cyclists instead of overtaking them.
The base of the Storybook Tree in Bury Knowle Park is rotting, and the sculpture may have to be put on a new base.
The new Islamic Studies Centre on the Marston Road is now due to open at the end of 2013. More than £50 million has already been spent on the building, and another £25 million has now been found.
In 2012 the Centre for Islamic Studies made an offer to the City Council for Harcourt House on the Marston Road for student housing
Two new planning applications were approved in 2011:
On 18 March 2010 the full city council approved Oxford Brookes University’s revised plans for the redevelopment of its site. (The plans had been called in following approval by the City Council’s Strategic Development Control Committee on 24 February.)
The brief description of the plans is “Erection of new library and teaching building (NLTB) consisting of lecture theatre, library, teaching accommodation and social facilities, plus linked extension to the Abercrombie building and arcaded building to new entrance piazza to Headington Road” (09/02764/FUL).
Older news items are moved to separate pages. Links to news pages from 2001 to 2013 can be found at the foot of this page.
Headington has numerous mobile phone masts, and the link below shows all recent applications.
Despite having so many charity shops, central Headington has since 2006 been targeted by commercial firms asking people to give all the spare clothes they have for them to sell to the poor.
Some charities have now linked with these commercial firms, but they only get a proportion of the proceeds.
City councillors David Rundle and Ruth Wilkinson 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.
Ronald McDonald House Charities want to built a new £5m unit where more parents can stay when their children are patients at the Oxford Children’s Hospital.
Headington’s bike hire pilot scheme was launched on 20 June 2013, but Grand Scheme Bike Share, the firm operating it, went into receivership in November, and the service will be disrupted in the short term.
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, the Churchill Hospital, and Oxford Brookes’ Gipsy Lane site.
Headington residents were the first in the city to get speed-checking devices.
The John Radcliffe Hospital obtained planning permission in September 2012 to build a new “welcome centre” costing £3m to £4, bridging the gap between the main hospital and women’s centre and including shops and a café. A second application was approved in 2013: this varies condition 2 of the permission to include a reduction in height and scale, change of material and a reduction in the number of retail units
This city council site was sold for £150,000, and planning application 12/01112/FUL for the erection of a two-storey building comprising three flats (2x1 bed 1x2 bed) with ancillary amenity space at was approved at the East Area Planning Committee meeting on 14 August.
Outline planning permission for the demolition of the existing building next door to 70 New High Street and the erection of two two-bedroomed flats was approved in 2011 (11/00774/CT3), after an original plan for three flats was withdrawn.
The house at 73 Lime Walk has been renovated and sold, but the old buildings in its back garden (facing All Saints Road) and the large warehouse behind (accessed from Lime Walk) were demolished in January 2012. These buildings were the former Burton’s dairy shop (which once housed Highfield Post Office) and its loading shed.
They are being replaced by two x 3/4-bedroom houses fronting Lime Walk and a two-storey office building fronting All Saints Road. This relates to planning application 11/00648/FUL by C. G. Burton and E. L. Woodhead for 73–81 Lime Walk. In April 2013 amendment 13/00174/FUL to that permission was approved
The outline planning application submitted by the University of Oxford relating to the integration and development of the 28-acre Park Hospital site (which it now owns) with its Old Road Campus in Headington was approved at the East Area Planning Committee meeting on 8 January 2013.
The application comprises the following:
Demolition of existing buildings on application site. Outline planning application (fixing details of access) for the erection of 48,000sqm of class D1 research floorspace and ancillary facilities on 2 to 5 storeys over 5 building plots as an extension to University of Oxford Old Road Campus. Provision of 459 car parking spaces, cycle parking, hard and soft landscaping and boundary treatment.
On 3 August 2011 the city council’s East Area Planning Committee approved an earlier planning application by the University of Oxford for a new £57m development on its Old Road campus. The decision was called in to be reviewed and was again approved on 31 August 2011, and work is now well under way.
Bob Williams, formerly of Headington’s G. H. Williams, is still doing bike repairs from home in central Headington: tel. 01865 762664 or mobile 07962 896 663. He has fifty years’ experience of repairing bikes and is strongly recommended.
Planners “raised no objection” application 12/01542/CC3 for the demolition of the existing teaching wing, gym, kitchen and circulation to the west of the existing school hall and the construction of a new single-storey admin and kitchen extension, a new music entrance, a new two-storey KS2 infill block, a new KS1 extension, and a new foundation-stage extension.
In addition there would be a new pedestrian access on Bayswater Road. Altered pedestrian and cycle entrance on Waynflete Road, a new pedestrian and cycle entrance on Waynflete Road adjacent to the vehicular entrance, a new parking area for the Schools Music Service utilising the existing vehicle entrance, and the creation of a new hard games court adjacent to the playing field.
Bayard’s Hill is one of the ten named primary schools likely to be turned into sponsored academies because they have consistently fallen below government standards.