Headington News: Wednesday 20 February, 2019

29 Old High Street: Appeal dismissed

29 Old High Street

Martin Young's appeal against the city council's refusal (17/02576/CPU) “to certify that the proposed subdivision of existing house to form 2x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3) and erection of 3no. dwellings to create a 2x 2-bed flat and 1x 1-bed flat (Use Class C3) is lawful development” has been dismissed.

Refused Appeal APP/G3110/X/17/3191929

Gym proposal for Headington Centre

Anytime Fitness submitted a planning application in January 2019 for the two upper floors above Caffè Nero at Victory House at 116–120 London Road (on the corner of Windmill Road). It is for “Change of use from non-residential institutions (Use Class D1) to 24 hour gym (Use Class D2)”:

Review of Oxford ward boundaries

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 to be included in Barton ward
  • Area between Barton Park and Barton Road to transfer from Barton & Sandhills ward to Headington ward
  • Staff accommodation in John Radcliffe grounds to transfer from Headington ward to Headington Hill & Northway ward.
“Bayswater Oxford” development plan

On 20 December 2018 South Oxfordshire District Council voted to approve the published version of its new Local Plan, and consultation will take place for six weeks until Monday 18 February 2019 at 5pm.

As pointed out here on the Headington & Marston Neighbourhood Forum, this consultation can only be on the “soundness” of the Plan. The proposals will then be submitted to the Government by the end of March.

In the Headington area, this plan includes a proposed development to the north of the Bayswater Brook (adjoining Barton Park to the north-west and north-east) which is (1) in the Green Belt, (2) privately owned, and (3) on land that comes under South Oxfordshire District Council.

Option 1 of the proposed development is larger than Barton Park and would follow the line of the Bayswater Brook as far as Elsfield Road. Options 2 and 3 extend the development much further. The three links that follow show detailed plans of those options:

Option 1:  750–925 homes on Christ Church land to north-west of Barton Park, reaching as far as the Marston flyover

Option 2: 1500–1850 homes on Christ Church land, extending the above proposal further north and north-east, and would include a new Local Centre providing education and community facilities.

Option 3: 2900–3250 homes on the Christ Church land and also the land of Wick Farm, whose owners are keen to develop their land with Christ Church. This development would include a local centre, two new schools, a retail centre, a country and local park, potential student accommodation, and a cemetery.

Christ Church has joined with Dorchester Residential Management for the project and they have produced the Bayswater Oxford development website.

Wick Farm Ltd has joined with Berkeley Strategic Land Ltd.

Further information on the development

Civil parish of Headington?

Following the Yes vote to a civil parish in the Headington Neighbourhood Plan referendum in 2017, the city council is now deciding whether it is feasible for the area of Headington covered in that plan to be governed by a community council (aka parish council) and how it would work.

The full council agreed to undertake a Community Governance Review on 13 February 2019 and a referendum will follow.

Proposed research building for Churchill Drive

The University of Oxford is proposing to build a new scientific research building, the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine (IDRM) on Churchill Drive as part of the Old Road campus. They would like it to be a bridge between the campus and the neighbouring residential area, offering attractive landscaping and amenity space for both.

The IDRM would “bring together 200+ world-leading researchers to tackle the most pressing scientific and clinical problems in the fields of developmental biology and regenerative medicine”.

Two public consultation were held at Boundary Brook House on 8 & 9 February 2019.

New controlled parking zones (CPZs)
The funding of new parking zones in Oxford is a joint venture by the City and County Councils.
Wood Farm

The whole of the Wood Farm estate from the Slade to the eastern bypass will be a new controlled parking zone. Construction is expected to start in the winter of 2019:


The county council is proposing to introduce a CPZ in the Risinghurst area:

Headington Quarry

The county council is proposing to introduce a new CPZ in 22 streets in Quarry:

Nine existing CPZs in the Headington area

Girdlestone Road (GR), Headington Central (HE), Headington North-east (HN), Headington Quarry (HQ), Headington West (HA and (HB), Lye Valley (LV), Northway (NW), The Lakes (LK). They are operated by the county council.

Current planning appeals in Headington

Five planning appeals in Headington await a decision:

(1) 33 Perrin Street (13 September 2018)

Appeal against refusal of “Application to certify that the proposed demolition of garden shed and erection of a rear garden outbuilding is lawful development” (18/00991/CPU):

(2) 14 Burdell Avenue, Sandhills (17 September 2018)

Appeal against refusal of “Erection of a single-storey rear extension and two-storey side and rear extension” (18/01023/FUL)

(3) 18 Osler Road (4 October 2018)

Appeal against refusal of “Demolition of existing dwelling. Erection of a one and a half storey building to provide 2 x 2-bed dwellings (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, and bin and cycle store” (8/00850/FUL)

(4) 147 Headley Way (21 January 2019)

Appeal against refusal of “Change of use of dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to a House of Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4) (Retrospective)” (18/01192/FUL)

The last relates to the felling of trees and the Planning Inspectorate is not involved:

(5) Heathfield House, Pullens Lane (October 2018)

Appeal by Rye St Antony School against refusal of “Fell 2no. Corsican Pines in Headington Hill Conservation Area” (18/02230/TPO)

Some new planning applications
Beauty/massage parlour at 291 & 293 London Road

Two planning applications have been approved:

Replacement of 295–301 London Road with flats

A planning application was submitted on 6 February 2019 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.”

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.

Brookes: Headington Hill site
Clive Booth Student Village

In October 2018 Oxford Brookes University submitted a full planning application to gain 500 extra bed spaces by demolishing Blocks C, F, G, H, J, K, L, and M of Clive Booth Student Village and erecting 1,077 student bedrooms with associated communal and social facilities:

Replacement of Helena Kennedy Building

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

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

Ronald McDonald House

In December 2018 Ronald McDonald House Charities started building a new four-storey, 62-room Ronald McDonald House on the 0.4 hectare site of the disused tennis courts at the John Radcliffe Hospital. The site is bounded to the north by Hospital Car Park 2a, to the east and south by Woodlands Road, and to the west by the rear gardens of Sandfield Road:

At present the charity can only offer 17 rooms on the top floor of the children's hospital and cannot meet the demand. The approved application is for “Ronald McDonald House to provide 62 bedrooms including communal areas, admin facilities, plant and store rooms along with associated landscaping and drop off area”.

New hospital staff accommodation proposed

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and housing group A2Dominion proposes to build another 90 staff homes built at the Churchill Hospital, and to refurbish the existing Ivy Lane flats at the John Radcliffe:

JR to expand Emergency department

The extension to the Emergency Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital was approved unanimously by the East Area Planning Committee on 7 November 2018, and reduction of the size of the roundabout nearby started in December.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust submitted a planning application in July 2018 for “The expansion of the Emergency Department of the John Radcliffe Hospital through to the provision of a two storey extension to A and E unit and refurbishment of existing space to provide, resuscitation bays, [paediatric] resuscitation bays, enhanced resuscitation room and isolation room. The provision over ancillary works such as external plant and other associated landscape works including revised land layout and dedicated ambulance parking”:

Bullingdon Community Centre

Agreement has been reached in principle between Oxford City Council and the Bullingdon Community Association for the demolition of the current defective building and its replacement with a new purpose-built facility using off0site modular construction methods

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:

Plans for six new flats in Lime Walk

The following planning application has been submitted for the site of 4 Lime Walk:
“Demolition of former MOT facility (Use Class B2).
Erection of three-storey building to create 3 x 1-bed flats
and 2 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3).
Erection of a single-storey building to create 1 x 2-bed flat
(Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space,
bin and cycle storage, alterations to landscaping
and formation of 1no. disabled parking space”:

Holy Trinity Church extension

The Consistory Court of the Oxford Diocese judged in June 2018 that the extension to Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry should go ahead:

On 7 September 2016 the East Area Planning Committee approved the planning application by Holy Trinity Church for “Erection of single-storey extension to north elevation”:

The church withdrew an earlier planning application submitted in February 2015 so that pre-application discussions could be held with the planning officer.

Some other planning applications
Ampleforth Arms

“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”

Ruskin College

In April 2018 the East Area Planning Committee granted Ruskin College planning permission for two big applications submitted in September 2017:

(1) Main Headington site: “(i) Erection of 65 bed student accommodation building on four storeys. (ii) Erection of 30 bed student accommodation building on two and three storeys. Demolition of Bowen Building”:

(2) Stoke House on the other side of Stoke Place: “Erection of 12 study bedroom annex on two floors”:

C.S. Lewis Nature Reserve

A "Save the C. S. Lewis Nature Reserve” petition to Oxford City Council has over 4,000 signatures. It relates to a planning application by the Wychwood Foundation for housing adjacent to 4 Wychwood Lane for vulnerable adults:

“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 runs very near the reserve. Over 200 people have objected to the application.

Offices at 295–301 London Road

“Demolition of existing store to the rear. Conversion of existing offices into two shops”:

Possible power plant at Warneford Hospital

The possibility of building a power plant at the Warneford Hospital to provide heat for Oxford Brookes University, Headington School, and Cheney School (and ultimately for other parts of Oxford) has been mapped out by energy experts.

The city council is now tendering for a detailed project development study. The proposed plant would be within the footprint of the Warneford Hospital, and not (as suggested by the Oxford Mail) in Warneford Meadow.

New research building at JR Hospital

Building work started in April 2018 on a new neuroscience research facility at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The new building is intended to provide purpose-built facilities for the Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD), as well as providing additional research and desk space for the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB). Both of these organisations are component units of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (part of the University’s Medical Sciences Division). When the development is complete, it will create the UK’s largest dedicated centre for stroke research.

Members of the University and the design team held two consultation events at Osler House on 28 and 29 April 2017 and construction began in 2018.

“Botnar 3” plans

Work started on the Botnar 3 site in 2018. 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”.

This building will be connected to the present Botnar Research Centre on the other side of the access road by a bridge).

Three 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
Barton Park

For full details about this development please see the separate page:

Old Road Campus/Churchill & Park Hospitals
Sobell House

The Sobell House Charity is building a new specialist facility at the Churchill Hospital aimed at patients with more complex illnesses such as dementia. It will overlook Southfield Golf Course and cost £5m.

Precision Cancer Medicine Institute

Universities, Science, and Cities Minister Greg Clark visited the Old Road campus on 23 October 2014 and announced that a new £110m cancer centre, the Precision Cancer Medicine Institute would open in Headington. It will be on the Churchill Hospital site, south of Roosevelt Drive and will have 200 workers studying drug, surgery, and radiation therapy in cancer patients.

New 885-room student village for Brookes

Planning permission was granted by the East Area Planning Committee in December 2017 for the following application by Unite Students for the BT site (formerly part of Cowley Barracks) at James Wolfe Road off Hollow Way:
“Demolition of existing buildings. Erection of new student accommodation comprising of 885 student rooms (of which 46 would be fully accessible), communal areas and amenity provision, associated cafe and shop, laundrettes, plant room and electricity substation, new vehicular and pedestrian access to James Wolfe Road and closure of existing, cycle parking, landscaping and new enclosures. Use of student accommodation outside term time by cultural and academic visitors and by conference and summer school delegates”.

Unite Students have announced a 25-year partnership with Brookes University for the use of this block. This will be the third Brookes student block run by them (the others being Beech House and Dorset House on the London Road). The new village could be ready to admit Brookes students as early as 2019:



For up-to-the-minute information:

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Forthcoming events 2019
For full details, see Events page

Continuing to Sat 2 Mar: Exhibition in Bury Knowle House of work by the Edwardian photographer Etheldreda Laing and Oxford Brookes students

Thu 28 Feb: Consultation on proposed student housing development at bottom of Jack Straw's Lane

Wed 6 Mar: East Area Planning Committee

HeadingtonNews on Twitter:
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Shop changes in 2019
Oxford Wills & Probate with English Rose Kitchens

Choice Tiles moved in with Leopard Press at 12 Windmill Road next door in January 2019, and Oxford Wills & Probate with English Rose Kitchens moved into 10 Windmill Road

Five vacant shops/businesses
in Headington centre
Former Vente Hair

2 The Parade, Windmill Road

Closed on 8 February 2019

Former Japlene

6 Windmill Road

This closed at Christmas 2018 prior to moving to 28 The Hill, Garsington.

Former Angels Hair

111 London Road

Vacant since May 2017 (Angels now in a different shop). Planning application 18/01568/FUL was approved in August 2018 to build two flats behind this shop.

Former Post Office

142 London Road

The Post Office moved to the Co-op in February 2016, and the temporary shop that has been operating from the building closed on 23 December 2017.

Former Strutt

9 Windmill Road
Strutt, which opened in the former Daisy Chain shop on 1 June, closed down at Christmas 2018.

First World War remembrances: 1919–1920

Three men listed on the First World War memorials of Headington died in 1919, and one in 1920

Poppy Private William Irving (46), a maltster labourer who lived with his wife and two children in New High Street, died in Egypt on 11 January 1919, and buried at the Suez War Memorial Cemetery.

Poppy Private George Skey (21), who lived at Pitts Road, died of wounds in Oxford on 20 February 2019 and buried in the churchyard of Headington Quarry Methodist Church.

Poppy Private Henry Trafford (38), a bricklayer's labourer who lived with his parents at Vine Cottage in Quarry High Street, died in Headington on 19 March 1919 from heart complications as a result of malaria contracted in Salonika and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard.

Poppy Private Arthur Ernest Taylor (22), who lived with his parents at Cooper's Hill in Quarry, died in Headington in July 1920.

Biographies of all 120 who died

New office building for All Saints Road

Building started in autumn 2018 of a new two-storey office building in All Saints Road between Nos. 7 and 9 (at the rear of 73 Lime Walk):

An earlier application for an office building here was approved in September 2015 (15/02281/FUL), but an application to remove conditions from the plans was refused in May 2017 (17/00435/VAR).

Offices becoming flats


Nielsen's, which was on the London Road near the Thornhill Park & ride for 60 years, sold their 12-acre site to developers in 2016 and moved to the Oxford Business Park in March 2018.

Since May 2014 the conversion of B1(a) commercial property to C3 homes can be granted immediately under permitted development rights as long as specified aspects (such as transport and highway impacts, and contamination and flooding risks) are checked first. In December 2017 an application submitted by Shaviram Headington Limited for “Change of use of Nielsen House and annex from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 114 x 1-bed flats and 20 x 2-bed flats” was approved:

In December 2016 prior approval was granted to Headington Developments Ltd for “Change of use of Nielsen House and annex from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide 30 x 1-bed flats and 63 x 2-bed flats”.

An earlier application was rejected because the developer provided insufficient information relating to flooding and contamination risks:

Other similar conversions in Headington

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 so far there have been ten successful applications in the Headington area alone:

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. 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, but thankfully such repatriations are at present rare.

There was 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 any future repatriation dates and times:

Site of former Quarry Gate pub

Following two unsuccessful applications, the following outline application was approved in October 2017:

In April 2018 Seville Developments tidied up the site and submitted a full planning application for three houses on this site. This plan was refused on 19 June 2018 on the grounds that it “fails to relate to the strong sense of character of the surrounding area”:

Can’t find a news item?

Older news items are moved to separate pages. Links to news pages from 2001 to 2018 can be found at the foot of this page.

HMO legislation

A house in multi-occupation in Oxford must have C4 planning permission, which is unlikely to be granted in streets already saturated with student housing. The following appeals by landlords relating to the refusal of change of use from C3 to C4 status in Headington have been 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).

“Access to Headington”

Work on the third phase of the £12.5m “Access to Headington” started after Easter 2018 following an announcement by the Oxfordshire Growth Board that an extra £3million will be made available for the project. See this county council page for up-to-date information:

In April 2018 a new pedestrian crossing of the London Road was created near Osler Road.

In Cherwell Drive/Headley Way, 26 trees were felled and work started in earnest on 14 May 2018 with temporary lights for three weeks at the junction of Marsh Lane and Headley Way while central islands are removed and reinstated with a temporary road surface.

In June the temporary lights will move to the JR access roundabout for two weeks, while the existing pedestrian crossing is removed with the central islands, and a temporary road surface installed.

After that the rest of the work will take place with the help of narrow lanes. It is expected to continue until 18 February 2019.

The Headley Way work was originally due to start on 24 July 2017 but was postponed because of urgent sewer work in St Clement's; and then it was due to run from 22 January to October 2018 but could not start until funding was certain:

The work at Headley Way was originally due to start on 24 July 2017 but

The second phase of the project started in the Slade in March 2017 and was completed in the spring of 2018:

The first phase of this project at Old Road began on 17 October 2016 and is complete.


On 9 June 2016 David Nimmo-Smith, the County Council Cabinet Member for Environment (including Transport), approved the £12.5m “Access to Headington” revised plans:

New plans just for Headley Way and Windmill Road were released by the county council on 28 April 2016, and this extra consultation closed on 23 May 2016:

The county council's designs were sent out to the 4,500 homes most directly affected, and are also available here online:

The formal consultation on the Traffic Consultation Orders (TROs) closed on 25 March 2016.

All the proposed road humps at side road entries had a consultation of their own, which closed on 8 April 2016:

Cycling report recommendations for Headington

Andrew Gilligan, former cycling commissioner for London who helped deliver London's first segregated cycle superhighways, has produced the following report, published on 2 July 2018, for the National Infrastructure Commission:

He reports that five high-quality segregated or low-traffic routes should be created in Oxford, of which two pass through Headington: see paras 72 and 74, reproduced below.

72. Eastern Arc – Main road route, segregated or semi-segregated throughout, along London Road from Brookes University to Headington, Thornhill park and ride and continuing to Wheatley, including major improvements to Barton roundabout. Branches to John Radcliffe Hospital via filtering on Osler Road; to Old Road campus and Churchill Hospital site via filtering on Lime Walk. Links with existing "Access to Headington" scheme on The Slade and Headley Way. This route, particularly aimed at "last mile" cyclists, would link Thornhill park and ride to many major employment and university sites in the Eastern Arc.

74. Marston cyclepath – Extension of existing, successful route from new Marston to John Radcliffe Hospital and New Barton via short stretches of improved track on Marston Road, filtering on Jack Straw's Lane, better crossings of Marston Road and Headley Way, improved track on the hospital approach road, crossing of A40. The "Access to Headington" plans for this section of Headley Way don't provide a good enough crossing.

More Headington heat pipes?

A joint study commissioned by Oxford City Council and the University of Oxford published on 11 May 2017 puts forward three additional heat-network options for Headington:

(1) Old Road Campus & Warneford Hospital scheme (1.6km)
This would connect a new energy centre at the Warneford to adjacent buildings and the Old Road Campus

(2) Clive Booth Student Village scheme (0.7km)

(3) Headington West scheme (2.8km)
This would join large loads around Oxford Brookes University and Headington School with an energy centre at the Warneford Hospital.

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:

Prices range from £3.80 per day for Spring Lane and Bayswater Road to £21.30 per day for Old Road.

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

Property in Headington owned offshore

Private Eye has put online an interactive map showing all English and Welsh property acquired by overseas companies since 2005.

If you search for Headington, you will see that some large properties in the centre of Headington such as Kennett House and Dorset House are owned abroad, as well as some smaller ones such as those occupied by the NatWest Bank, Starbucks, and Boots. There are also individual houses (including houses in multiple occupation) owned in the British Virgin islands.

Latest editions of community newspapers

The city council's six regeneration areas have a community newspaper, and three of these areas are in the Headington district. See the latest editions here: