Headington Headlines #329

Your weekly round-up of local news for 31 July – 6 August.

Black Mamba Tattoos in Windmill Road has moved into the nearby Vente Hairdressers.

News broke on Tuesday that the Trauma Unit at the JR was unsafe if a fire broke out. There are several problems including, inevitably, the cladding. The Trust decided to evacuate the building and move patients and beds elsewhere in the hospital. This was completed by the end of Friday afternoon.

Connor Sparrowhawk’s mother’s personal details were leaked to medical staff facing a tribunal to decide if any of them were at fault over Connor’s death.

Barton residents are being offered a free course in video production and the chance to make a film about how they travel around the local area.

Some properties in Colwell Drive, Barton were evacuated on Thursday after a tree fell on a house. Luckily no-one was injured.

Bury Knowle Park is one of 6 Oxford Parks to be awarded a Green Flag this year.

I made a map of all 729 HMOs in OX3 (HMO = house in multiple occupancy). It’s taken from Oxford City’s published register dated 21 July 2017. Go on, take a look!

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

  • I see stagecoach has published a bus road design guide
  • Local Plan 2036

HMOs in OX3

Oxford City Council operates a register of HMOs (houses in multiple occupancy) in the city. An HMO is defined as “a building or part of a building that is occupied by three or more people from two or more households (unrelated families) who share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom, pay rent and it is their main place of residence.”The latest copy of the register (an Excel spreadsheet), dated  21 July 2017 is published on the Council’s website.

I have extracted the HMOs in the OX3 postcode area – there are 729 of them – and put them on a Google map.2 Explore at your leisure!

 

 The Council is currently consulting on the Preferred Options stage of the new Local Plan covering the period up to 2036. They are proposing a change in their planning policy on HMOs, arguing that purpose-built HMOs in the right locations could help the provision of affordable homes. If you are interested in this issue and the associated question of purpose-built student accommodation I strongly recommend you read the relevant sections of the Preferred Options document, i.e. paragraphs 3.52 and Option 19 on HMOs, and  3.53 – 3.67 and Option 20 on student accommodation, and send in your comments before the deadline of 25 August.

 

1. oxford_hmo_licensing_guide

2. A few premises with more than one HMO (e.g. a house with 2 flats) might only show as one marker on the map.

Headington Headlines #328

Your weekly round-up of local news for 24 – 30 July.

Oxford City Council announced that construction of the Northway and Marston Flood Alleviation Scheme is complete, giving increased protection to 110 homes.

The closure of the Bullingdon Community Centre (see HH 326) has thrown local community groups out into the cold with nowhere to meet.

A blue plaque commemorating Edward Brooks VC was unveiled at 16 Windsor Street on Saturday. Read more here.

 

@TheSpiritofToad opened its doors to the public on Thursday, selling gin and vodka distilled on the premises. Other products will follow. Their website has been upgraded and includes a page where you can book tours (£20 & £50).

Inside the distillery
Inside the distillery
Photo: @HeadingtonNews

And their output has aleady reached as far as Eynsham!

The former ‘Cycling Tsar’ of London, Andrew Gilligan @MrAGilligan has been given a similar role advising Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes on how to become more cycle-friendly. City leader Bob Price welcomed the appointment but as Oxford Civic Society noted, it’s the County that needs to take action.

@OxfordHealthNHS, which runs the Warneford Hospital, had its website hacked overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday. The site was quickly restored and the Trust says no patient data was compromised.

There are reports that the Swan School, the new Free School to be built in Marston on the site of the Harlow Centre, may stagger its opening hours in an attempt to reduce local traffic congestion. Locals reported in the Oxford Mail are sceptical. There’s more background and links to the story of this school in HH 305 and 306.

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

  • Headington Ward Focus meetings

Edward Brooks VC – Blue Plaque

A blue plaque commemorating Edward Brooks VC was unveiled on Saturday 29 July 2017 at 16 Windsor Street in New Headington. Sgt-Major Brooks of the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry was awarded the VC in April 1917 for “most conspicuous bravery”. You can read his full story on the headington.org.uk website.

The ceremony was attended by about 80 people. Many family members were there together with civic dignitaries from Oxford and from his original home of Oakley in Buckinghamshire. His regiment (now part of  The Rifles) was also represented.

The Chairman of the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board, Prof Robert Evans, introduced the ceremony and Brigadier Nigel Mogg gave an account of Sgt-Major Brooks’ bravery. Buglers from the Regiment sounded the Last Post and Reveille. Brooks’ grandson Keith Brooks announced the ‘unveiling’ of the plaque, although no veil was in fact involved!

After the ceremony family and guests moved to the nearby Butcher’s Arms for refreshments.

Keith Brooks (grandson), Prof. Robert Evans & Brigadier Nigel Mogg 'unveil' the plaque
Keith Brooks (grandson), Prof. Robert Evans & Brigadier Nigel Mogg ‘unveil’ the plaque

 

Brooks family group outside 16 Windsor Street
Brooks family group outside 16 Windsor Street

 


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Headington Headlines #327

Your weekly round-up of local news for 17 – 23 July.

Old Marston Parish Council @OldMarstonPC‘s store was broken into and everything was stolen.

A man’s body was found in a field off the Marston Ferry Road on Tuesday morning. The death is being treated by police as ‘unexplained but not suspicious’.

Police are warning of a ‘crime spree’ of burglaries and break-ins affecting Headington and Marston as well as other parts of Oxford. In one incident a CBE medal was stolen in a break-in at a house in Old Road (The Oxford Mail says ‘Old London Road’).

Headington residents are ‘the locals’ as far as the marketing pitch for @BartonPark_ (aka @Mosaics_Oxford, aka “Don’t mention Barton“) is concerned. The picture shows the previous incarnation of Jacobs Brasserie as Jacobs Chop House.

The Headington Neighbourhood Plan passed its final hurdle when it was approved by the City’s full council on Thursday.

The Vicky Arms has applied for a licence to serve drinks from an outside bar.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • New Chinese Language Courses
  • Headington Ward Focus meetings

Don’t mention Barton

This story was first published in HH 326 on 17 July 2017.

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.

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