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Headington News: Saturday 14 May, 2022

Local Election 2022: results

Following ward boundary changes, all city councillors had to be newly elected in May 2021, with the councillor in each ward who had more votes elected for three years, and the one who had fewer votes for just one year. All the city councillors in the latter group who stood in the Headington area have now been re-elected until 2026, namely:

  • Barton & Sandhills: Mike Rowley (Labour)
  • Churchill: Susan Brown (Labour)
  • Headington: Chris Smowton (LibDem)
  • Headington Hill & Northway: Barbara Coyne (Labour)
  • Lye Valley: Ajaz Rehman (Labour)
  • Quarry & Risinghurst: Chewe Mukonge (Labour)

In Marston Mick Haines (Independent) did not stand for re-election, and a new city councillor has been elected until 2026:

  • Marston: Alistair Morris (Green Party)

The next city council elections will be held in 2024. There will be no county council elections until 2025, as following the boundary changes all county councillors were elected for four years in May 2021.

MEETINGS & EVENTS

Oxford City Planning Committee

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 24 May 2022. The agenda will appear here.

(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)

ArtWeeks

7–29 May 2022

Includes St Mary's Church in Barton, 101 Old Road, 25 Bateman Street, 25 Quarry Road, 36 Windmill Road, 6D Stephen Road, 13 Stephen Road, 41A Sandfield Road, The Oaks in Old Road, Simsbury in The Ridings, and Woodlands on Shotover Hill.

All venues listed here

Headington Festival

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 2022

Details on Festival website

Headington's Repair Café

The Bullington Repair Café has moved from the Bullingdon Community Centre while it is being rebuilt. It is now held at Headington Community Centre in Gladstone Road, every Tuesday from 10am to 12noon. They will have a go at mending almost anything, including electrical items. No need to book, but more information available from Barbara on 07792 491350.

Headington Market

Headington Market is held on the London Road in central Headington on Saturdays, 9am to 2pm

Headington's Green Belt

(1) Land North of Bayswater Brook

A major development is planned right across the land owned by Christ Church that stretches from the Marston flyover to the Bayswater Road.

The developers held a consultation four times between Thu 3 March and Thu 31 March 2022, twice at Barton Park Primary School, and twice online (recordings available here).

(2) Bayswater Farm, Sandhills

In mid-February 2021 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”.

The Lone Star Group state here that they have acquired 7 hectares of “prime Oxford real estate at Bayswater Farm” for a private client, and the number of dwellings has increased from 130 to 150. .

New cycle lane

New agreed cycle lanes include Morrell Avenue and Warneford Lane:

Planning Appeals in Headington

The following six planning appeals were made in 2021/2022:

Improvements in Headington

Section 106 money from Oxford Brookes is funding four improvements in Headington:

  • Planters to replace the nine redundant cycle racks at the top of Kennett Road
  • Cycle hoops outside St Andrews School
  • Planting outside Dorset House
  • A replacement tree on Headington Hill.
Former Crown & Thistle pub, 132 Old Road

This pub closed down on 31 December 2011. The freehold of the building was purchased from Greene King for £425,000 by S. P. Singh, S. J. Kaur, and G. Kaur on 30 November 2012, and three four-bedroomed houses were built in its car park.

On 17 January 2022 the following application was validated: “Permission in principle application for the demolition of existing former public house and erection of a minimum of 7no. dwellinghouses up to a maximum of 9no. dwellinghouses (Use Class C3)”.

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

Barton Park development

A major new planning application has been submitted relating to the completion of Phase 2 and the whole of Phase 4, which includes the commercial buildings:

The current situation is as follows:

  • Phase 1: Hill has completed all of its 237 homes (“Mosaics”)
  • Phase 2: Redrow expected to completed 60 out of 207 homes by the end of 2021 (“The Steeples”)
  • Phase 3: Countryside Housebuilding West is preparing to start building 441 homes (press release)
  • Phase 4: The contractor for the final phase is yet to be announced.

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

Headington Co‑op planning application refused

The planning application for a hotel on the site that was submitted by 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 have been made to the original plan, including the reduction of the number of hotel bedrooms from 118 to 108.

Background

Early in 2020 the sale of this freehold site with vacant possession was advertised by JLL, with the closing date for offers 12 March 2020:

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

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”. Hence both the original press release by Cantay Estates and the local press refer here to flats rather than a hotel:

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 has been 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.

Headington Co‑op was originally on the corner of Windmill Road with extra shops under Holyoake Hall from the 1930s. 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.

New Heritage Assets

This consultation on the second batch of Heritage Asset nominations ended on 26 January 2022. It was agreed on 23 March 2022 to add all of the nominations to the register, including four in Headington:

All Saints' vicarage

All Saints' vicarage next to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre at 85 Old Road was dedicated on 11 June 1913, and the first six vicars of All Saints' Church in Lime Walk all lived there.

Following the retirement of the Revd James Cocke in 2020, the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance put it up for sale by Carter Jonas, and it is currently under offer (asking price £1.8 million). There are covenants on the site, and an overage for future development.

The building is on Oxford City Council's Heritage Asset Register.

New Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre

The Haemophilia and Thrombosis department at the Churchill Hospital moved to a new £4m centre on the redesigned Mayfair Ward at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre on 14 March 2022. It is the second largest such centre in the UK.

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 22 November 2021::

“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”.

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

A planning application was validated on 30 March 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 validated on 29 March 2022. This would operate while the Clive Booth student village is being rebuilt:

(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.

The county council also proposes to put in a cycle path on Cuckoo Lane, but this is not part of this application.

(5) New Technology, Design, & Environment 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 has been submitted:

New permitted development rights

New permitted development rights (PDRs) were introduced in September 2020, allowing up to two extra floors to be built on top of existing dwellings without planning permission (provided that conditions are met).

So far there has been one such application, by Lucy Developments, which was approved on 13 December 2021: this is for a two-storey rooftop extension on Flats 1–9 Girdlestone Close to provide six extra two-bedroom flats:

Headington Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs)

A formal consultation on the proposed Headington LTNs was due to take place in December 2021, and if agreed a six-month trial will take place from summer 2022. This has now been put on hold.

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.

A second major development at Thornhill

The Shaviram Group submitted the following planning application on June 2021 for a major development 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):

“Proposed development of 402 apartments (Class C3), a 133 bed hotel (Class C1), employment provision in the form of an Innovation Centre (2,200 sqm), with additional mixed use accommodation to include office space, 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”,

Care home in Jack Straw's Lane

Validated on 4 June 2021:

“Demolition of existing carpenter's yard buildings, 302, 304 and 312 Marston Road and 1 and 3 Jack Straw's Lane. Erection of residential care home (Use Class C2) with associated landscaping and car parking”

New intensive care unit at JR

Plans have been approved for a new five-storey adult intensive care unit with 48 beds on the site of the former Barnes building at the John Radcliffe Hospital:

Voi e-scooters

Headington has been selected by Oxfordshire County Council and Voi e-scooters for a twelve-month trial of e-scooters to rent. This started on 18 February 2021 following the granting of a licence to operate has to the county council by the Department for Transport.

They are allowed on most of Headington's roads and cycle lanes but banned on pavements, and can only be used by people over 18 with a provisional or full driving licence. The are covered excludes Wood Farm, Barton, Sandhills, and Risinghurst (except for the Risinghurst cycle route to the Park & Ride), and takes a little bite out of Marston (see map).

Privately owned e-scooters will reman illegal during this period.

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:

Barclays Bank (all floors)

This bank at 105 London Road (on the corner of Old High Street) closed on 1 May 2020, and is being converted into a shop with two floors of flats above.

(1) Ground floor + basement shop

This has now been let, and it will be a Treatz café. A planning application for a new door on the south side for was approved on 23 September 2021: the plans were produced for Mujtaba & Salman Ltd of 40 Shelley Road in Cowley, the nature of their business being “unlicensed restaurants and cafés”

The building was advertised as a retail unit ideal for café/restaurant use. (This change of use is permitted development under the Use Classes Order that came into force on 1 September 2020.)

On 6 August 2020 an earlier planning application for “Change of use of basement and ground floor from financial and professional services (Use Class A2) to drinking establishments (Use Class A4)” was refused:

The developers Bradford Securities Ltd of Wolvercote put in all the following applications for the extensive redevelopment of the first floor and the building of an additional floor.

(2) First floor: conversion into flats

On 18 January 2022 an application for “Change of use of first floor from Commercial, Business and Service (Use Class E) to create 1 x 1 bed flat (Use Class C3). Erection of three-storey rear extension and formation of loft conversion to create 1 x 1 bed flat (Use Class C3). Insertion of 2no rooflights to front elevation
(current application 22/00016/FUL).

Previous applications relating to the first floor:

  • On 29 October 2020 a planning application to determine whether this office space could be converted into three flats under permitted development rights was withdrawn (20/02339/B56)
  • On 29 December 2020 prior approval was granted for an application to determine whether this office space could be converted into one one-bedroomed flat under permitted development rights (20/02783/B56)
  • On 30 December 2020 an application to certify that a proposed change of use to create two apartments was lawful development was approved (20/02773/CPU)
  • On 7 July 2021 details of bicycle storage were submitted (20/02783/CND)

(3) New floor on the roof with three flats

An appeal against Oxford City Council's refusal of the revised planning application to build three flats on top of this bank was allowed on 21 July 2020, but the scheme does not appear to be going ahead:

This approved planning application was for three one-bedroom apartments on a new floor on top of the bank with new access at the rear. The new storey would have had external cladding of smooth anodised aluminium with a bronze finish.

This earlier application was withdrawn:

In December 2020 an additional planning application relating to a non-material amendment to allow photovoltaic panels on the roof was approved:

The six new houses in Quarry High Street

“Quarry Mews Ltd” (Jonathan and Sarah Beecher of Beecher Acoustics at 1 Quarry High Street) have lodged an appeal against the enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the six new houses in Quarry High Street. The deadline for comments is 29 March 2022:

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 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”:

New hospital accommodation approved

On 6 November 2019 the East Area Planning Committee approved the following two planning applications submitted by A2 Dominion South Ltd:

(1) Ivy Land Flats on JR site

“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”.

Currently there are 408 key-worker bedrooms on the Ivy Lane site, and the new development will provide 468.

(2) Site adjacent to Randolph Court on the Churchill site

“Demolition of existing buildings. Construction of key worker housing (19 cluster units) and associated works”

Oxford Mail, 8 November 2019: “Nurse recruitment at heart of drive for new Oxford hospital accommodation

Oxford Mail, 2 October 2018: “New staff accommodation at John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals planned

New developments on Old Road campus

Work started in September 2019 on the £35m Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine on the corner of Churchill Drive and Roosevelt Drive:

This is a partnership between the University of Oxford, the British Heart Foundation, and a philanthropist, and will bring together 220 world-leading scientists to tackle serious heart problems.

The Institute is on Plot B3, one of five plots on the Old Road campus for which outline planning permission was granted in July 2013:

Planning applications for the new Institute

The University of Oxford submitted two detailed applications in mid-2019 relating to the proposed Plot B3 on the corner of Churchill Drive and Roosevelt Drive, and both have been approved:

(1) “Details submitted in compliance with condition 4 (Restrict building heights), condition 5 (materials), condition 6 (Landscape and public realm), condition 7 (Protection of trees), condition 8 (Arboricultural method statement.), condition 10 (Landscape management), condition 11 (Boundary treatments), condition 18 (Sustainability strategy), condition 19 (Foul & surface water), condition 20 (Sustainable drainage), condition 21 (Ground contamination), condition 22 (Vibration and piling), condition 23 (Petrol / oil interceptors), condition 24 (Noise attenuation), condition 25 (Internal & external lighting), condition 26 (Cooking smells), condition 27 (Repeat ecological surveys), condition 29 (Habitat creation), condition 31 (Archaeological watching brief) of planning permission 12/02072/OUT”.

(2) “Application for reserved matters (appearance, landscaping, scale and layout) for plot B3 to create institute of Developmental Regenerative Medicine (IDRM)”:

Two public consultations were held at Boundary Brook House on 8 & 9 February 2019 on the University's plan for this site. They would like the new development 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”.

 

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Shop and businesses changes in 2022
Grounded Kitchen

The Grounded Kitchen (Korean restaurant) opened on 11 May 2022 at 108–110 London Road ( in the former Marie Curie Cancer Care charity shop to the right of Iceland that closed in September 2021):

The Oxford Fine Food Store

This opened in the former Queen's Bakery at 1 Windmill Road on 23 January 2022. They are part of Lamb Catering, who run the Black Boy

Foot Health Practitioner

Foot-health practitioner Linda Nann moved into the former Oxford Locksmith's shop at 9A Windmill Road:

Treatz

Treatz desserts is due to open soon in the former Barclays Bank at 105 London Road. Planning application 22/00143/ADV for “Display of 2no. internally illuminated fascia signs, 2no. non-illuminated fascia signs and 2no. internally illuminated hanging signs” has been approved.

Pen to Paper/Oxford Orthodontic Centre

Pen to Paper at 95 London Road closed permanently on 8 May 2022, as the building has been sold to the Oxford Orthodontic Centre upstairs.

Coventry Building Society

This building society closed on 8 January 2022 after about 40 years at 135 London Road,.

Sue Ryder Charity shop

This shop, which opened at 2A Windmill Road on 17 May 2012, closed in January 2022

Robert Stanley Opticians becomes Bayfield

Robert Stanley Opticians was taken over by Bayfield Opticians & Audiologists early in 2022.

Vacant premises in Headington centre
Former Lloyds Bank

85–87 London Road

This bank closed on 16 September 2019, and the whole building is being advertised to let at a rental of £83,000 per year, with a sublet income from the offices on the top two floors, both of which are still occupied..

Former Santander Bank

This closed on 12 August 2021 and its former premises (ground-floor only) are advertised to let at £32,500 pa:

Former Coventry Building Society

135 London Road

This closed on 8 January 2022, and the freehold of the premises is advertised for sale (offers in excess of £500,000)

Former Japlene

6 Windmill Road

In May 2020 planning permission was granted to Mr Armend Qyqalia (owner of both the nearby Armends Barber Shop and Adria Pizzeria & Gelateria) 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.

In addition planning permission was granted on 5 April 2019 to convert the first floor into a flat (19/00057/FUL).

An earlier planning application submitted in December 2019 (19/03224/FUL) was called in and then withdrawn on 12 February 2020. This was for “Change of use of ground floor from shop (Use Class A1) to Restaurant and Cafe (Use Class A3) and 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 and side extension, formation of external staircase to north elevation, 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 cycle stores”.

Japlene closed at Christmas 2018 and moved to 28 The Hill, Garsington.

Former Sue Ryder charity shop

2A Windmill Road

This shop was vacated in January 2022

New 5G telecommunications masts

City council planners have granted planning permission for five 5G telecommunications poles and ancillary 5G equipment in Headington, and three applications have been rejected.

Replacement equipment on seven Headington buildings does not need approval.

Bullingdon Community Centre rebuild

The Bullingdon Community Centre which was in poor condition was demolished in September 2021 and is no being rebuilt. 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?

Site of former Quarry Gate pub

The Quarry Gate pub was demolished in 2015.

The fourth planning application by Seville Developments was approved on 19 October 2021. This is 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”:

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

The second planning application was approved on 22 May 2020:
“Details for reserved matters for the (appearance, landscaping, scale and layout) of outline application (seeking approval of access, layout and scale) for the erection of 1 x 3-bed dwelling and 2 x 4-bed dwellings, pursuant to outline permission 17/02142/OUT”:

The first planning application by Seville Developments 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”:

Planning applications for 4–9 dwellings

On 9 September 2019 the Planning Inspector for the 4 Lime Walk planning appeal confirmed that that no provision for affordable housing need be made on that site. This undermined the city council's HP4 policy (which required developers of sites capable of accommodating 4–9 units to make an affordable housing contribution of 15% of gross development value): see Head of Planning Advice Note

Developers were very pleased with this decision: see for example these Bright Properties articles: A victory for small developments in Oxford” and Oxford's Housing Policy Pickle,

The ten consequent planning applications for small developments of more than three dwellings in Headington are listed below, followed by details of the Lime Walk decision.

Site of Quarry Gate pub, 19 Wharton Road APPROVED

A planning application was registered in July 2021 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”:

Crown & Thistle pub, 132 Old Road PENDING

“Permission in principle application for the demolition of existing former public house and erection of a minimum of 7no. dwellinghouses up to a maximum of 9no. dwellinghouses (Use Class C3)” was validated on 17 January 2022.

5–7 Jack Straw's Lane: REFUSED

A planning application for “Proposed demolition of existing light industrial buildings. Erection of 4 x 3-bed dwellinghouses and 4 x 4-bed dwelling houses (Use Class C3)” was submitted in May 2021:

Early application “Proposed demolition of existing light industrial buildings. Erection of 4 x 3 bed dwelling houses and 4 x 4 bed dwelling houses” was refused (21/00216/FUL)

1C Barton Lane PENDING

Demolition of existing dwelling. Erection of a two-storey building to create 2 x 1-bed and 2 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of bin and cycle store

Above Flats 1–9 at Girdlestone Close APPROVED

Application for prior approval to create a two-storey roof extension to provide 6no. flats (Use Class C3)

91 Lime Walk APPROVED

Demolition of existing dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) and garage. Erection of a two storey building to create 5 x 1 bed flats and 3 x 2 bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of bin and bike stores.

40 & 42 Dene Road WITHDRAWN

Conversion of two houses into six flats

Demolition of existing single-storey rear extension, 2no. garages, 1no. outbuilding and partial demolition of front extension. Erection of two-storey bay extension to front elevation. Erection of a two-storey rear extension. Subdivision of existing dwellinghouses (Use Class C3) to create 4 x 2 bed flats and 2 x 1 bed flats (Use Class C3). Alterations to roof to form hip to gable and formation 1no. front dormer in association with loft conversion. Insertion of 4no rooflights to front elevation and 4no. rooflights to rear elevation. Conversion of existing outbuilding habitable space. Installation of 24no. solar panels. Provision of private amenity space, car parking, bin and cycle stores

3 New High Street REFUSED

Five flats and two maisonettes at the side and back of this house

The following planning application refused on 11 January 2020: “Demolition of existing two storey side extension. Erection of a single-storey rear extension and a three-storey side and rear extension to create 3 x 1-bed and 2 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3). Erection of a two-storey detached building to the rear to create 2 x 1-bed maisonettes (Use Class C3). Provision of bin and cycle storage.

20 Osler Road APPROVED

To replace a detached house with five flats

This planning application was approved at the East Area Planning Committee meeting on 1 July 2020. It was for “Demolition of existing dwellings and garage. Erection of 2 x 3-bed, 2 x 2-bed and 1 x 1 bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, bin and bicycle stores”

Separate applications have been made for the site of the bungalow in the garden (20A Osler Road) in relation to this application, but two applications for an additional two houses have been refused:

153 Headley Way APPROVED

To replace detached house with two blocks of four flats

A planning application was submitted in November 2019 for “Demolition of existing two storey dwelling and garage. Erection of 2x two storey buildings to create a 1 x 1 bed flat, 1 x 3 bed flat and 2 x 2 bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of car parking, bin and cycle storage, private amenity space and associated landscaping”

295–301 London Road APPROVED

Final approval for the amended plans was granted on 17 September 2021, namely “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. Re-provision of the existing Sikh Gurdwara including additional floor space at first-floor level”:

75 Headley Way: WITHDRAWN

A planning application was submitted in September 2020 for “Demolition of existing single-storey garage. Erection of a two-storey building to create 4 x 1 bed flats Provision of amenity space, bin and cycle stores. No. 75 to remain”

THE TEST CASE Land to the rear of 4 Lime Walk
First application: Six flats to replace MOT facility
ALLOWED ON APPEAL

This was refused by Oxford city council, but allowed on appeal

Second application: Eight flats to replace MOT facility
REFUSED AND APPEAL DISMISSED

Following their successful appeal, Biggin Morrison Investments Ltd submitted a new planning application for 4 Lime Walk, increasing the height of the proposed building to accommodate another two units (making eight flats in all). This was refused in July 2020, and the appeal dismissed in July 2021:

Third application: Eight flats to replace MOT facility
APPROVED

In March 2021 a new application was approved for “Erection of part four-, part three-storey building to create 4 x 1-bed flats and 3 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3). Erection of single storey building to create 1 x 2-bed flat (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, bin and cycle stores, alterations to landscaping and formation of 1no. disabled parking space”:

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).

It is understood that Linfield Construction, which is currently based at 74 Lime Walk, will occupy the office. They have permission to turn their old main office at 74 Lime Walk into a house under permitted development rights, and are currently seeking permission to turn the building behind into more accommodation: details of both on “Offices to flats” page

Offices becoming flats

Nielsen's

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, and their old building and annexe have been converted into 134 flats, which are available to rent:

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 (incorporated 10 July 2017) 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:

Two earlier applications were made by a different developer, Headington Developments Ltd (incorporated 29 January 2016 and dissolved on 18 June 2019):

  • In July 2016 the first plan by Headington Developments Ltd was not approved because the developer provided insufficient information relating to flooding and contamination risks (16/01394/B56)
  • 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”(16/02678/B56).

These two articles relate to the earlier planning applications:

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:

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 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 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).

Cycling report recommendations for Headington

Andrew Gilligan, former cycling commissioner for London who helped deliver London's first segregated cycle superhighways, 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.

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.

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:

Oxfordshire Blue Plaques