Headington Headlines #326

Your weekly round-up of local news for 10 – 16 July.

The Planning Review Committee approved the application by @TheSpiritofToad to add a café to their South Park distillery.

A cat called Blue made the mainstream news. He was found up a tree in Hawthorn Avenue with his leg caught in a rat trap; his leg had to be amputated.

Now here’s a strange thing. The first houses being built in @BartonPark_ are being marketed under the name “Mosaics Oxford”. The marketing campaign has emerged on twitter as @Mosaics_Oxford and they have a website which was first registered in April last year — mosaicsoxford.co.uk.  The copyright tag on the website shows that Mosaics is another face of the builders of Phase 1, Hill. Mosaics Oxford is, they claim, a “vibrant new community”, “nestled next to Oxford’s bustling city centre”. Devoted readers will recall that an important selling point of Barton Park was how the new development would integrate with existing Barton to their mutual benefit. Strange then that the word ‘Barton’ (with or without the ‘Park’) doesn’t appear anywhere in Mosaics’ sales pitch. The street address of the marketing office (or ‘suite’, as they prefer to style it) is just a postcode which places it in St Aldates.

A consultation has opened on a proposal for a 20mph speed limit along the whole length of Windmill Road as part of the Access to Headington scheme. Various documents, none of them going into any detail or presenting any evidence about what the effect might be, are here on the County’s website, from where you can also submit your comments. The consultation closes on 11 August.

Electric Aids has moved out of their Windmill Road shop. A notice in the window says they will continue trading, but doesn’t say where.

The Bullingdon Community Centre in Peat Moors was closed abruptly by the council after the structure was found to have deteriorated.

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

  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road
  • Northern Bypass near Barton Park: What a silly place to put a sign
  • 20mph Consultation for Windmill Road opens
  • Overhanging vegetation in Headington Hill cycle path
  • Local Plan 2036

Headington Headlines #325

Your weekly round-up of local news for 3 – 9 July.

Thames Water starts sewer replacement works in St Clements today, lasting for several weeks. There will be long delays. You have been warned.

Councillors and The Oxford Mail are reporting that because of the work in St Clements, the Headley Way stage of Access to Headington, recently rescheduled to start on 24 July, has now been put back to the new year. This has yet to be confirmed on the County’s website, but it seems highly probable. This potentially pushes the work into conflict with building work on the JR site. Update, 1500 10/07/17 The County has now confirmed the postponement.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information about a suspected arson in Weyland Road last Sunday (2 July).

As predicted by the Huffington Post and reported in HH323, Oxford East MP Anneliese ‘One of Nine to Shine’ Dodds has been made a front-bench Treasury spokeswoman for Labour.

With the closure of the Marston Medical Centre patients have been re-allocated to other practices. Some will go to a unit based at the Marston Pharmacy, others have been allocated to a new unit being set up in the grounds of the JR at Arthur Sanctuary House (ASH, the building opposite the Women’s Centre). Patients have been told there will be no extra parking at ASH so anyone arriving by car will need to join the queues of drivers trying to get into the JR pay-for-parking car parks. Coming from Marston, the JR is served by the 13, X13, 14, and 700 bus services, which would be a sensible alternative for those who can use them.

The planning application by @TheSpiritofToad for a café at their new South Park distillery was called in by councillors after a close vote at the West Area Planning Committee. It will be decided at the Planning review Committee meeting this Wednesday (12 July).

@HeadingtonNews has sifted through all the site allocations in the City Council’s Preferred Options local plan document and produced a list of all the sites in the Headington area. Do try and find time to look at the consultation and make your views known.

Street names for the @BartonPark_ development have been released. The main spine road is to be Barton Fields Road (why not Barton Park Road?). Other names commemorate well-known Barton people, including Barry Holden, former Vice President of the Barton Community Association, and Elizabeth Maud Smith, a resident of Barton for 57 years.

Oxford Health NHS Trust @OxfordHealthNHS, who run the Warneford Hospital, showed their masterplan for how they want to develop the site into a world-leading treatment and research centre. Oxford University is collaborating to help them raise funds, but nothing’s likely to happen for a while yet. Exhibitions of the masterplan will be arranged over the summer months.

Model of the Warneford Masterplan site layout
Model of the Warneford Masterplan site layout (Warneford Lane at the top)

Travellers are back on the Marston Ferry Road cycle path. They were able to access the path due to a bollard failure.

It’s been a long time, but 29 Old High Street (the derelict place on the right near the car park) is back! Planning application ref 17/01686/FUL is for “Partial demolition of existing house and demolition of existing garages and outbuildings. Erection of two storey side and rear extension. Provision of new access, car parking and turning area. Rebuilding of stone boundary wall fronting Old High Street.” The application is open for comments until 3 August.

Ruskin College has been criticised for abandoning its roots and its foundation by closing its international labour and trade union studies department.

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

  • Ramsey Road Allotments
  • Local Plan 2036
  • Ramsey Road Allotments
  • Charity event to celebrate Adult Volunteers in Oxfordshire
  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road

Headington Headlines #324

Your weekly round-up of local news for 26 June – 2 July.

Despite earlier reassurances, Oxford City Council has found after tests that they will have to replace the exterior cladding on the Evenlode and Windrush Towers in Blackbird Leys. The towers will not be evacuated as other fire precautions, including sprinklers, have been included in the Council’s refurbishment. The two towers in OX3 – Foresters in Wood Farm and Plowman in Northway have not yet had cladding installed so are not affected.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has released this statement about it.

The last thing anyone wanted was for a fire to break out in one of the tower blocks. This is just what happened in Plowman Tower, Northway on Wednesday. Fire crews attended and the fire turned out to be small and in a ground floor storage area. It was quickly dealt with.

Still on the subject of fire safety in communal buildings, Headington LibDems asked @Oxford_Brookes and Unite (the company that manages Dorset House and will manage Beech House) for statements on their respective fire safety. The replies are here on the LibDem website.

Four local surgeries/health centres are now run by Hedena Health; Bury Knowle, Barton, Marston and Wood Farm. Who or what Hedena Health is, is to say the least opaque but I’ve done some digging. This post explains what’s going on.

All Saints’ Church has joined twitter. Welcome and follow @AllSaintsOX3!

Oxford City has opened the public consultation on the ‘Preferred Options’ stage of the City’s developing Local Plan covering the period up to 2036. The consultation runs until 25 August. Every household will be getting a leaflet and questionnaire, but for starters try the Council’s Local Plan web page and @OxCivicSoc‘s short article.

Local LibDems and Greens were quick to pounce on newly-elected @AnnelieseDodds‘ failure to back an amendment in the Commons that would have required the UK to stay in the Single Market. This despite her election campaign statements that ‘extreme Brexit’ would be a disaster. Anneliese has explained that she backed a different amendment which she believed was stronger. A full account of this story here.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • Four local medical practices now come under Hedena Health
  • Edgeway Rd cycle apologies
  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road

Headington Headlines #323

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

As predicted last week, the start of the Access to Headington work on Headley Way which was due today has been postponed to 24 July to allow Thames Water to carry out sewer replacement work in St Clements first. The St Clements work means traffic lights and closures for two months.

Judy Webb, naturalist, conservationist and leading light of the Friends of Lye Valley @FriendLyeValley received an Oxford City Certificate of Honour “for 16 years of service as a volunteer promoting nature conservation within Oxford”. She was presented with her certificate by Oxfordshire Deputy Lieutenant Lady Helen Baker.

Judy Webb receiving her Certificate of Honour
Judy Webb receiving her Certificate of Honour

Oxford City’s Executive Board ‘made’ (i.e. approved) the Headington Plan. To complete the process it still needs confirmation by the full City Council, which will happen next month.

The Oxford Mail reports that the OU Hospitals Trust is considering installing number plate recognition controls at the hospital car parks.

The day before the new parliament started, Oxford East’s new MP @anneliesedodds was tipped by the Huffington Post as one of ‘nine MPs tipped to shine‘ in the new parliament. They predict a significant role in Labour’s Brexit team.

I was one of a group of 14 locals who enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Energy Project at the JR Hospital on Thursday. After a short presentation giving an overview of the project we were shown the new boilers and the 4.5MW CHP engine. They’ve managed to fit some impressive equipment and miles of pipes into the existing hospital structure without losing any of the hospital’s working time.

The man who pleaded guilty to the murder in Windmill Road in February (see HH319 and HH305) was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years 10 months. Egidio Da Silva Alves murdered his brother-in-law Domingos Ramalho in a family feud.

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

  • Strimmer found

Headington Headlines #322

It’s been a quiet week for news in Headington, but here’s your weekly round-up of local news for 12 – 18 June.

It’s still technically subject to call-in by Councillors, but the application from artisan distillers @thespiritoftoad to build a visitor centre at their premises at the top of South Park (see HH314) has been approved.

Cllr Ruth Wilkinson has reported that the start of the Headley Way Access to Headington work will be delayed by at least two weeks while emergency work is carried out in St Clements. That puts the start on site back to 10 June at the earliest.

Highfield Residents’ Association and All Saints’ Church held a street party on Sunday as part of the ‘Great Get Together’ commemorating murdered MP Jo Cox.

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

  • Abandoned bikes in Headington
  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road
  • Injured Cat – Old Road

Headington Headlines #321

Your weekly round-up of local news for 5 – 11 June.

In the general election Labour held Oxford East with @AnnelieseDodds taking the seat vacated by Andrew Smith. The LibDems’ @LaylaMoran took Oxford West and Abingdon from the Conservatives; @NicolaBlackwood lost her seat. Full results and my commentary here.

I’m grateful to @mike_rat for pointing out before the election that all four main candidates in Oxford East hold Doctorates.

The Access to Headington work on Headley Way was on show in Northway on Monday. Preparation for this part of the scheme starts on 19 June – that’s next week – with actual work starting on the 26th. It will be at the junction of Headley Way, the JR entrance and Staunton Road. Meanwhile, work on The Slade continues. Read more here.

The County Council has produced new Guidelines for Walking and Cycling, setting standards for new developments and redevelopments. I asked how far Access to Headington complied with the guidelines for cycling.

A memorial to the men of Oxfordshire who died in the Spanish Civil War was unveiled on Saturday. It stands on the triangle of land at the bottom of South Park on the corner with Morrell Avenue. The memorial was funded by the International Brigades Memorial Trust (IBMT) @IBMT_SCW

As announced last week, the Endeavour film crew was on location in Headington on Wednesday.

Headington’s newest food outlet Dragon Express opened on Polling Day (Thursday). It’s where the Rose Tree used to be.

Oxford Brookes has denied any involvement with Frontier Estates on the developer’s attempts to acquire land at the top of London Road / Barton Road for a speculative student accommodation scheme.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road

Headington Headlines #320

Your weekly round-up of local news for 29 May – 4 June.

I know of only one more hustings for Oxford East, and it’s today (Monday) at 6.30pm in the Sheldonian Theatre, organised by Oxford University Students’ Union. It’s open to all and you can register on Eventbrite.

The hustings organised by Churches Together in Headington was on Thursday (1 June). It was well-attended and four of the five candidates were there; only Labour’s Anneliese Dodds was missing due to a prior commitment. She was represented by City Council leader Bob Price. It was a polite affair at least up to the time when I had to leave, though I gather it got a bit livelier once discussion was thrown open to the floor.

Whether or not you’ve been to a hustings, or have been doorstepped or leafleted by any of the parties, and whoever you support please turn out to vote on Thursday.

Turning to other matters, for the record all the heatpipe roadworks are definitely over. Here’s the last road to be cleared, photographed yesterday.

Churchill Drive after the heatpipe work was completed, June 2017
Churchill Drive after the heatpipe work was completed, June 2017

Although Access to Headington work on The Slade is far from finished, the countdown to the next phase, Headley Way, has begun. There’s a public exhibition of the plans for the work today (5 June) at the Northway Community Centre, Dora Carr Close from 2.00 – 6.00 pm. Engineers from the County will be there to answer questions and listen to your comments but it’s not a formal consultation. No further significant changes to this phase of the scheme are likely.

The Headington Festival took place over the weekend. The extra-large Saturday market was busy in the sunshine and so were the stalls and entertainments in Bury Knowle Park on Sunday, even though the sunshine had given way to cloud.

After nearly two decades when private schools have dominated the competition, St Joseph’s Primary School on Headley Way has won the Oxfordshire Under-11 Chess League. They beat Magdalen College School to win the championship.

The disabled spaces at the JR car park No. 2 were closed off this week. A temporary steel structure and a large crane appeared. This is what the Hospital Trust said on their facebook page:

You may have noticed a very large crane – and the temporary closure of some spaces – in Car Park 2 on the John Radcliffe site. This is to allow vital replacement air handling units to be lifted onto the rooftop of the hospital over the next week. We’re sorry for the disruption and inconvenience and ask you to bear with us during this period.

The first phase of work will last until the evening of Monday 5 June. From today (Friday 2 June), the roundabout by the main entrance, as well as part of Car Park 2, will be closed to allow the crane to be brought in.

A second crane will be brought onto the JR site on Saturday 10 June to deliver steelwork and air handling units, which will then be lifted onto the rooftop of the hospital. This will affect the roundabout by the main entrance only.

Crane in JR car park
Crane in JR car park

The Oxford Mail reports that The Grill House, opening where Connell’s estate agents used to be (next to Bury Knowle Park), is run by the same man who owns the Old Mill Coffee Shop in Chipping Norton. A good sign is that The Old Mill has a five-star hygiene rating.

The anger at the way Frontier Estates has been trying to acquire land to build more speculative student accommodation has been growing. Cllr Alex Hollingsworth has become involved, and apparently the draft new Local Plan for the City which will be out for consultation in the next few months includes an intention to curb such developments. The Oxford Mail ran the story, and to follow the local debate you need to go to the e-democracy forum.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road
  • Yellow dust around St Leonard’s Rd
  • Lost dog
  • Lost Keys