I couldn’t go to the latest Energy Project Stakeholders’ Liaison meeting last Thursday, but a report in The Oxford Mail and information from people who were there confirms that Vital Energi have withdrawn their current planning application covering the street works. It seems they’ve now admitted publicly what we knew privately, that they haven’t constructed a heatpipe through an established residential area before and have never been challenged to submit a planning application. It makes me wonder if any of the parties are asking what the experts in the Carbon & Energy Trust who brokered the scheme have to say about their role in setting the scheme up in the first place.
Anyway, Vital have now called in the professionals and engaged planning consultants Turleys to draw up a new application. This will seek approval for the heatpipe to take a new route. Instead of going from All Saints Road to Old Road via Stapeton Road, the pipe will continue to Lime Walk and then go along the southern half of Lime Walk to Old Road and then to Churchill Drive. I understand they believe Lime Walk is wide enough not to have to be closed to all traffic, which would have been the case in Stapleton and will still be true for Latimer and Sandfield Roads.
The Oxford Mail reports that Vital Energi are now saying “the rough schedule at the moment is to put an application in again in May and then after comments and committee to hopefully start work at the beginning of September.” Whether all parties can be clever enough to avoid the heatpipe and Access to Headington work clashing remains to be seen.