Headington Headlines #335

Your weekly round-up of local news for 11 – 17 September.

@Cheney_School joined twitter.

Both Anneliese Dodds (Lab, Oxford East) and Layla Moran (LibDem, Oxford West & Abingdon) voted against the second reading of the EU Withdrawal Bill on Monday night.

The largest piece of public art in Headington, “Origin” by Julian Wilde, has been shortlisted for an award for “excellence in public sculpture”. It is installed on the Old Road Campus.

A flyer from a local artist and writer, Michael Plockley, came through my letterbox advertising his portrait service. His website pockley.blogspot.co.uk/ shows he also paints landscapes.

Despite local concerns, @Oxford_Brookes arrivals weekend at Beech House seemed to go fairly smoothly. @Unite_Student had marshals on duty to help direct the parking.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road
  • Walkers in downhill cycle lane – Headington Hill

Headington Headlines #334

Your weekly round-up of local news for 4 – 10 September.

The old Post Office, which has been a shop selling stationery since the PO closed, is to become a gallery for local artists.

BBC Countryfile reported on the @TheSpiritofToad distillery in South Park. It’s here on iPlayer until the end of the month – scroll through to 53’30”. (NB You have to register now to view BBC iPlayer).

The proposal for a 20mph speed limit for the whole of Windmill Road, which has always been part of the Access to Headington scheme, was approved by the County on Thursday. Thames Valley Police had objected on the grounds that people already drive faster and they doubt if they could enforce it. As they don’t enforce most other traffic restrictions this argument isn’t very convincing.

The new Swan School to be built in Marston moved a step closer as the River Learning Trust which will run the school announced contractors Galliford Try have been appointed to lead the design and build process.

A group of travellers moved onto the Margaret Road recreation ground on Thursday, but had gone by Friday evening.

The Tour of Britain passed briefly through OX3 on Saturday on the B4027 from Stanton St John to Islip. Here’s part of the peloton going through Islip.

The Tour of Britain passes through Islip
The Tour of Britain passes through Islip

Dr Anandagopal Srinivasan of Sandfield Road has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, one of which is alleged to have happened at the JR Hospital and the other at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge.

The Mosaics (Barton Park) marketing office was opened over the weekend. There’s a thread about it on the e-democracy forum.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

And finally, a tenuous link to Headington and only of interest to fans of professional cycling, EF Education First is  replacing Cannondale as sponsor of the current Cannondale-Drapac cycling team. Following what seems to be a trend for cycling teams to have ever more clunky names, the new team name will be Team EF Education-Drapac.

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

  • Travellers on Margaret Road play area
  • Travellers on Margaret Road
  • Barton Park Opening
  • Builder?

Headington Headlines #333

Your weekly round-up of local news for 28 August – 3 September.

The Headington Fairtrade shop celebrated its new look on Friday with drinks and nibbles and a 10% discount.

The latest Access to Headington work to start is to Churchill Drive and its junction with Old Road. It begins on 11 September and will last approximately 15 weeks. Part of Lime Walk will be closed and some on-road parking will be suspended. The County Council says residents on Lime Walk are being notified directly. The Oxford Mail’s report is here, and there are detailed drawings on the County’s Access to Headington pages (click the ‘Map’ tab).

The offices above Caffè Nero are advertised for rent. It’s not clear what this means for the future of current occupiers Abacus College / Oxford Language Centre. Hat-tip to @headingtonnews and @LeonardoLoredan for spotting and chasing this story.

The recent planning application for 29 Old High Street was turned down because of “excessive size and bulk” and because it would be “prominent and intrusive”. Expect an appeal.

As everyone took a last break before the end of the summer, there were no new posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week.

Headington Headlines #332

Your weekly round-up of local news for 21 – 27 August.

Brian Aldiss
Brian Aldiss

Science fiction author and Old Headington resident Brian Aldiss OBE died last week a day after his 92nd birthday. For a full account of his links to Headington see the article about him on headington.org.uk.

There was confusion when electoral registration forms were delivered with return addresses and online registration links to Haringey instead of, or as well as, Oxford.

Friends of Lye Valley @friendlyevalley submitted their comments on relevant sections of the City’s Preferred Options. The report is not yet on their website but you can see a copy here.

Dunstan Park (at the top of Foxwell Drive/Dunstan Road) is shown in the City’s Preferred Options as ‘For further investigation’ – ‘Housing’. Oxford Civic Society added a supplement specifically about Dunstan Park to their comprehensive comments on the Preferred Options consultation. They say it should be re-classified as a ‘Rejected Site’ in the ‘Green Infrastructure’ category (‘Rejected’, i.e. not considered for development).

In March last year a scheme was announced (see “Health and Fitness in Barton Park“) under which NHS money is going to be used to encourage residents of the new development to lead healthy lifestyles. Now The Oxford Mail reports one of the first initiatives may be to give people discounts on their grocery bills if they lead ‘healthy’ lifestyles. The article also mentions ‘free bicycles’. Whether it will really happen remains to be seen. Also I can’t help thinking that the money could be better spent on health projects in Barton rather than in glossy Barton Park/Mosaicland.

Speaking of which, Mosaics/Barton Park launches its marketing campaign in two weeks’ time on 9 – 10 September. We’re promised an ‘interactive 3-D model’ of the development.

The latest planning application on 29 Old High Street was refused on Thursday.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

Big Narstie is a well-known grime artist. Here he is adressing the Oxford Union in May this year, supporting the motion that “Kanye (West) is more relevant than Shakespeare”.

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

  • Barton Park Prices

Headington Headlines #331

Your weekly round-up of local news for 14 – 20 August.

It’s been a long saga, but the Headington Heatpipe has been turned on.

However, the whole system is not yet fully operational; the CHP (combined heat and power) engine isn’t yet commissioned.

There’s work going on at the ex-pet shop on the corner of Stile Road (opposite the Co-op), but as yet no information about what will be there. On the other side of the road the promised “Grill House Opening Soon” seems to have been on hold for the past month or more.

The shop that was last Morrison’s is to be a branch of franchise operation Heavenly Desserts.

@LeonardoLoredan has been mounting a one-man twitter campaign pointing out continuous breaches of agreed working conditions by Frontier Estates and their contractors Winvic on the Beech House site, Latimer Road.

The Oxford Mail reports that Independent Councillor for Marston, Mick Haines, is raising concerns about sewage flooding from the Barton Park development once people start moving in to the new properties. Provision of foul drainage capacity is a matter for Thames Water, and was a ‘reserved matter’ in the original outline planning permission for what was then West Barton. A Foul Water Strategy was prepared and the East Area Planning Committee approved the corresponding Condition 26 on 11 February 2015. Whether Cllr Haines is crying wolf remains to be seen, but I think I can hear a bandwagon approaching.

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

  • Local Plan 2036
  • Barton Park Prices

Possible Development Sites in OX3

As I mentioned in early July (HH324) Oxford City is consulting on the ‘Preferred Options’ stage of the City’s developing Local Plan covering the period up to 2036. The consultation runs until 25 August. If you need to catch up try the Council’s Local Plan web page and @OxCivicSoc‘s short article. You can download the full Preferred Options document here.

Section 9 of the document  is headed ‘Sites’. It starts with this explanation:

A site allocation is a planning policy that describes what type of land use, or mix of uses, would be acceptable on a specific site or whether the site is protected for certain types of development. The purpose of the site allocations is to allocate sites for built development or to maintain a type of built development on a site. Site allocations are important because they give guidance and certainty to developers and landowners and they help local people understand what may happen in their neighbourhood in the future.

Two poor quality maps show (1) sites that have been rejected as unsuitable for development for a variety of reasons, and (2) sites that may have development potential subject in some cases to further investigation. Each map is followed by a table identifying the sites shown on the map. This is the map of ‘Sites recommended for further investigation’.

Sites recommended for further investigation
Sites recommended for further investigation

I’ve used the map and the tables to make a more useful map showing just the ‘further investigation’ sites in OX3*. I’ve placed the markers as best I can but I can’t guarantee that I have all of them spot on. The same goes for the postcode you’ll see among the data from the tables when you click on a marker – the Council doesn’t give a postcode so I’ve used one that’s close by as a means of getting the marker on the map.


It’s best to click on the icon at the right of the header bar to make the map full-screen.

As always, it’s worth taking the time and trouble to pass on any comments you have on this or any other part of the Preferred Options. Various ways of doing this are on the Council’s Local Plan web page whose link is at the top of this article.

* I’ve left out a few commercial sites outside the Ring Road which are technically in OX3.

Headington Headlines #330

A relatively quiet week of local news for 7 – 13 August.

The County Council is resurfacing the A40 Northern Bypass, with the road being closed at various times including over the weekend just gone and during this current week. The County’s description of the works is far from clear, with Sunderland Avenue and North Way both being mentioned. It is not clear whether the whole road from Headington roundabout through Sunderland Avenue to the Wolvercote roundabout is affected. Their description of work to be done this week reads:

A40 North Way will be closed at night between 7pm and 6am each night from Monday 14 August to Friday 18 August. The noisiest operations will be completed by 11pm each night. The road will be open during the day over this phase.

They also say:

A40 Sunderland Avenue will be closed at night between 7pm and 6am each night from Monday 14 August to Friday 18 August. The noisiest operations will be completed by 11pm each night. The road will be open during the day over this phase.

Make of it what you will. The relevant web pages are here and here.

Good news for community groups left with nowhere to meet by the temporary closure of the Bullingdon Centre in Peat Moors. The Council are installing safety props and the building could reopen by the end of the month.

The Oxford Mail carried a story on 29 High Street implying there might be some movement on the planning stalemate that has kept it derelict for many years. But there doesn’t seem to be anything new in the report, so personally I’ll be surprised if anything happens in the near future.

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

  • Extending Early Bird Discount Chinese Classes