Headington Headlines #360

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

Posh Fish was named as one of the top 50 fish and chip shops in the country by Fry Magazine, and they should know. It was the only chippy in Oxfordshire included on the list.

The group Philosophy in Pubs which meets once a week in the city centre also meets once a month in The White Hart in Old Headington. They have a Headington facebook page with more information as well as their general Meetup page. Their March meeting is this Wednesday on the topic ‘Is the Self a Useful or Necessary Idea?’, and they stress that no previous knowledge or experience is required!

It looks like the Swan School, planned to be built on the site of the Harlow Centre in Marston, is going to be delayed. No planning application has yet been submitted, and when it is I suspect it’s unlikely to go smoothly. They are now talking of opening with temporary classrooms.

It seems the refurbishment of the Corner House pub has gone well. @ProperEllipsis gives the new décor five stars.

Oxford Brookes mounted a public exhibition of their latest plans to rebuild the Helena Kennedy building on their Headington Hill site, and to redevelop the residential Clive Booth Student Village. They have invited public comments, and there will be more opportunity once the formal planning applications go in. I’ve written a separate short article here.

There were three burglaries at London Road shops overnight last Tuesday/Wednesday. In all of them the doors at the back of the premises were broken open. Police are appealing for information

There’s a meeting this evening (Monday) in Old Marston where Christ Church College will face questions about their proposal to build 750 homes on land they own adjacent to Barton Park. The meeting is at 7pm in Mortimer Hall, Old Marston.

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

  • Abandoned bikes in Headington

Brookes Development Plans for Headington Hill

Earlier this week Oxford Brookes and their consultant planners Turnberry put on a public exhibition of their latest development plans. This time it concerns the Headington Hill site; one proposal is for the replacement of the Helena Kennedy Building (HK), the other the redevelopment of the residential Clive Booth Student Village (CBSV). I was fortunate to be able to go to a full presentation by Brookes/Turnberry.

New Faculty Building replacing Helena Kennedy
New Faculty Building replacing Helena Kennedy
Picture © Turnberry

They plan to rebuild HK on the same ground plan, but to make a new faculty building which can be used to bring together “specialist functions from Arts, Architecture, Computing, Mechanical Engineering and Built Environment studies under the same roof. The building will become a hub for a variety of teaching, research and practical making activities.”

The plans for CBSV are more radical; they are looking to achieve a net gain of about 500 bed spaces which together with the major student accommodation development at Cowley Barracks will go a long way to getting the number of Brookes students in private rented accommodation down below the 3,000 target required by the City Council. At first sight the declared height of some of the new buildings seems excessive, but I was impressed by the amount of detailed work the consultants had done on both local and long-distance views towards and away from Headington Hill. This aspect will no doubt be subject to great debate once the formal planning applications are submitted and open for public comment.

New Faculty Building replacing Helena Kennedy
Clive Booth Student Village proposed new layout
Picture © Turnberry

Part of the thinking behind the proposals is to make the node point between CBSV and Headington Hill Campus more open, and to encourage students to use the Campus and the HK building as a through route to JHB/London Road/Gipsy Lane and to the sports facilities over the Headington Hill bridge. That way they will avoid the less attractive, poorly lit and potentially unsafe route of Cuckoo Lane and Pullen’s Lane.

For those who weren’t able to get to the public exhibition there is a copy of the display boards on this link (with thanks to Brookes and Turnberry). The two developments will be covered by two separate planning applications; HK will be first in a few weeks’ time, CBSV will follow and is expected to be submitted in early June.

Headington Headlines #359

A combination of illness and the severe weather means a rather depleted Headington Headlines this week. I offer you just these two snippets of local information.

Remember the Bullingdon community centre in Peat Moors which was closed in July last year because of structural failings? It left local groups without anywhere to meet; then temporary props were put in and it reopened. A planning application (ref 17/03426/CT3) is going to East Area Planning Committee on Wednesday this week for the partial demolition of the existing building and the erection of part single- and part double-height front and side extension. The Council says the new building will provide better facilities. There were no public comments on the planning application either for or against.

Bullingdon Centre location
Bullingdon Centre location
Picture via Oxford City Council

Lost bike alert.

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

    • New term for Chinese language and culture courses