Headington Headlines #284

Your weekly round-up of local news for 19 – 25 September.

While we wait for confirmation of when and where the heatpipe roadworks will start, the County Council has opened applications for short-term visitors’ parking permits for people who will have work going on outside their houses. You can apply here.

Nor do we have any firm details yet about the timing of the Access to Headington road works. All we have at the moment is that work is scheduled to start on 17 October to reconfigure the Roosevelt Drive/Old Road junction. Among other changes this will provide two lanes coming out of Roosevelt Drive which is intended to provide more capacity for when Churchill Drive is closed for heatpipe work.

The latest fall-out in the sorry tale of Southern Health was the Chairman, Tim Smart, who resigned ‘for personal reasons’. His broadcast interview answering questions about Katrina Percy being slotted into a new job on the same salary with no due selection process showed a man out of his depth and out of control of the situation.

A motorcyclist suffered head injuries in a crash at Headington roundabout on Thursday morning. He was taken to the JR.

A burst water main flooded Trinity Road in Quarry on Wednesday.

Even grown-ups were discovering their inner 6 year old by doing chalk drawings on the pavement in Headington’s Big Draw on Saturday. Overnight rain had washed it all away by Sunday morning, but then ephemerality is part of the artistic concept, or so I’m told.

Just one active post on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Campaign Against Cuts to Services at Horton Hospital Banbury

Headington Headlines #283


Your weekly round-up of local news for 12 – 18 September.

A 48 year old man was stabbed in Margaret Road in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday. He was taken to the JR Hospital. On Friday police issued descriptions of two men they wanted to speak to in connection with the incident. The victim was said to be in a stable condition, and his injuries not life-threatening.

The Boundary Commission’s proposals for Oxford East (see section 81 on p.20) show our constituency gaining two City Wards, North and St Margaret’s, which currently lie within Oxford West and Abingdon (Nicola Blackwood’s constituency). In the City Council, North Ward is Labour and St Margaret’s is LibDem.

Two sets of number plates were reported stolen over last weekend (10/11 September), one on the London Road near Ramsay Road, the other on Lime Walk.

St Andrew’s School Association joined twitter with a bit of a stammer as @sasastandrews1. They need your vote to help raise money for a new outdoor classroom.

Frontier Estates (the developers building the Beech House student accommodation on the corner of Latimer Road) are resurrecting a new version of the planning application they withdrew earlier this year to build a 55-bed care home at 1 Pullen’s Lane. I’ve drawn up a handy timeline of the ups and downs of this potential development.

Children at @WindmillOxford were featured on @BBCOxford as they celebrated the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl on Tuesday by dressing up as their favourite characters.

Behind the security fencing on the pavement at the top of Headington Hill is a 15 metre gap in the old wall. Here’s the story.

Buongiorno e Buonasera opened as scheduled on Friday, and Oxford Vapours @OxfordVapours seems to be opening a vape shop in what was the old BBB Stores next to the old Post Office. They already have shops in Abingdon and Witney. A vape shop sells e-cigarettes and related products – see Oxford Vapours’ website for more details.

@JockOx3 felt good about his visit to a new Turkish barbers in Marston.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Margaret Road Pavilion
  • Campaign Against Cuts to Services at Horton Hospital Banbury
  • The Marston Barber

1 Pullen’s Lane care home timeline

Here is a brief history of the proposals to build a care home on the site of 1 Pullen’s Lane. Click here for a location map (the site boundaries are approximate).

March 2014 – Developers Carebase submit a planning application for a 55-bed care home at 1 Pullen’s Lane.

August 2014 – Planning permission refused. East Area Planning Committee said it did not fit with the area’s “rural tranquility”.

Jan 2016 – Frontier Estates submit a new planning application also for a 55-bed care home on the same site.

May 2016 – Frontier withdraw their application.

Sept 2016 – Frontier announce revised plans will submitted to Oxford Design Review Panel before submitting a formal planning application before the end of the year.

Headington Hill wall

You may have noticed the security fencing on the pavement at the top of Headington Hill. Behind it there used to be an old stone wall, part of the wall round the Headington Hill Hall estate, now Brookes’ campus. All there is at the moment is the remains of a pile of rubble.

I’m told that the Brookes estates people were worried that this section of the wall was bulging badly, so they brought in specialist contracctors to rebuild it. Perhaps not surprisingly, once the contractors started to dismantle the wall they found that a whole stretch was likely to fall at any time. In the end they carried out a ‘controlled collapse’ of about a 15 metre length, leaving the gap you can see behind the fencing.

The wall will be rebuilt using as much of the original stone as possible.

Headington Headlines #282

A day later than usual, here is your weekly round-up of local news for 5 – 11 September.

The heatpipe project cleared two hurdles, bringing work closer to a start. On Monday Vital Energi got consent for the necessary street works licences and on Wednesday the East Area Planning Committee (EAPC) granted planning permission for the works. The planning permission is subject to 20 conditions (several of them standard) and two ‘informatives’. Cllr @RuthWilk posted a useful summary before the minutes appeared online – they are now available in draft on the Council’s website.

Despite some campaigners still talking about legal action, the main problem for Vital Energi and the Trust is the co-ordination of work between this project, Access to Headington and the work on the Latimer Road student accommodation now officially named Beech House.

All my posts about the project are under the ‘Energy Project’ tab in the main menu, and there’s a page of links and contact details here.

At the same meeting the EAPC also gave planning permission for the Northway and Marston Flood Alleviation Scheme, and the demolition of two houses in Waynflete Road, Barton to allow access to a substantial housing development on the land behind which is in South Oxfordshire District. And in a heavy agenda they gave permission for an extension to Holy Trinity Church in Quarry, and refused permission for a three storey housing development on the site of the old Quarry Gate pub. Details of all these are in the draft minutes cited above.

Following last week’s link to @citizenofanvard‘s blog about The Kilns, here’s the follow-up post about Holy Trinity Church @HTHeadQ, especially the Narnia window and C S Lewis’ grave.

Marston-based Oxford City FC @OxCityFC narrowly avoided being put into liquidation when they were able to pay an outstanding tax bill at the last minute. Talks with potential new sponsors continue.

Thames Water’s emergency sewer work at the junction of Windmill Road and Old Road has been causing major traffic delays. Work is apparently going to continue through this week. Oh, and the water company put warning signs at the London Road junction instead of Old Road ‘by mistake’. *sigh*

A new 880 pupil Free School in Oxford – the “Swan School” – has been talked about for at least the past year. It now seems likely it will be located on the site of the Harlow Centre next to St Nicholas Primary School in Marston despite concerns about the extra traffic it would generate. An alternative site in Osney Mead seems to have fallen out of consideration, not least because of uncertainty over Oxford University’s plans for the area.

Headington’s newest restaurant Buongiorno e Buonasera is having its Grand Opening on Friday this week. It’s where the bed shop on the corner of Old High Street used to be, in case you’ve not noticed it.

A suggestion surfaced that part of the regeneration plans for Barton might involve the demolition and rebuilding of Underhill Circus.

Tenants of Oxford’s five tower blocks who own their leases under right-to-buy legislation – including Wood Farm and Northway – are challenging the Council’s plans to charge them up to £50,000 each for refurbishment and renovation work on the blocks. Pictures in @The Oxford Mail seem to show that at least some of the internal work has been carried out without much concern for how it looks. The Council has to apply to a special tribunal, the Property Chamber (no, I hadn’t heard of it either), to sanction the charges.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Reply M Clarkson
  • Cuts
  • Disruption
  • Campaign Against Cuts to Services at Horton Hospital Banbury
  • Proposal for 880-pupil school for Raymund Road, Marston
  • Lost Passport
  • Community Choir, Headley Way, sessions resume Monday 12th Sept

Headington Headlines #281

Your weekly round-up of local news for 29 August – 4 September.

File under ‘Unexpected’. Katrina Percy, the much-criticised CEO of Southern Health NHS Trust, resigned from her post on Tuesday. Campaigners will be disappointed that she will still play a part in the organisation: her resignation statment says she is “delighted to be taking on an alternative role, providing strategic advice to local GP leaders as they work with others to transform the way in which health services are delivered across Hampshire”.

Three landlords with properties in Grays Road and Valentia Road have been given 6 months in which to stop using the houses as HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) as they contravene the City’s housing policy and do not have planning permission.

I came across this account of a visit to C S Lewis’ house The Kilns and the nature reserve in Risinghurst by self-confessed C S Lewis fan @citizenofanvard.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Campaign Against Cuts to Services at Horton Hospital Banbury
  • Disruption
  • Seven Headington items at East Area Planning Committee Sep 2016
  • Lighting at foxwell drive
  • Barton Park junction
  • Northway

Headington Headlines #280

Your weekly round-up of local news for 22 – 28 August.

Headington Farmers’ Market is now under new management. Organisers @HeadingtonA say there will be a re-launch on 1 October, and new stalls. Under the new regime the market’s facebook page is getting some attention again.

Another step in the sad story of the baby found dead on a Marston footpath (see HH 256). The Coroner has stated that the baby girl was still-born. The mother has still not been traced.

Formal consultation on the Headington Neighbourhood Plan @HeadingtonPlan by the City Council is now open and running until Friday 7 October. After considering the responses and making any alterations the Plan will go to an Independent Examiner who will rule if the Plan can go to a local referendum. Information and link to submit comments is on the Council’s website.

Do you remember back in March the Barton Park development was announced as one of ten “healthy new towns” designated by NHS England? Now the developers have announced they have been awarded a grant of £126,000 by NHS England which will be administered by the City Council. Up to £30,000 will be made available to local groups to promote projects which will contribute to the overall objectives, and the Council is inviting bids for these grants.

As well as live music over the bank holiday weekend the @VictoriaArms has plenty more entertainment lined up for September.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Closure of Parking Shop
  • New Aldi store could replace Currys off Horspath Driftway in Oxford
  • Gardening Club
  • Northway
  • The changing face of Foxwell Drive!
  • Campaign Against Cuts to Services at Horton Hospital Banbury