Headington Headlines #311

Your weekly round-up of local news for 27 March – 2 April.

Last week I was premature in announcing the end of the heatpipe works in Headington’s residential streets, but now it is indeed true. Not that all the work is complete – parts of Churchill Drive will be closed until the end of May, and the work to link the heatpipe across the London Road starts today (3 April) and continues until 28 April. Details of what the London Road work involves are here.

All my posts about the project are under the ‘Energy Project’ tab in the main menu, and there’s a page of links and contact details here.

Staying with roadworks, here’s the latest from the County on the Access to Headington work on The Slade. It’s due to start in a week’s time, on 10 April.

The by-election in Barton & Sandhills following the death of Van Coulter will be on 4 May, the same day as the County elections & @HeadingtonPlan referendum. Labour have announced their candidate, Mark Ladbrooke. Here he is in the Oxford Mail in 2013 as an NHS union ‘strong man‘, and in February this year as Secretary of a group opposing the changes in the NHS. Nominations close tomorrow (Tuesday) and I’ll give a full list when I have it.

Some people will have three ballot papers that day. Everyone gets to vote in the County Council elections; Barton & Sandhills will vote for a new city councillor; and everyone living in the Headington Plan area will be able to vote in the Plan’s referendum. I understand the referendum will offer a simple ‘YES/NO’ answer to the question “Do you want Oxford City Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Headington to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”. The results of the referendum and the by-election are expected overnight on 4 – 5 May. Poll cards have already been issued.

polling card

This week’s scheduled meeting of the East Area Planning Committee has been cancelled due to ‘lack of business to discuss’. Which means there’s still no decision on the Wychwood Lane development application on the boundary of the C S Lewis Nature Reserve in Risinghurst.

An unexpected story broke with speculation that OUH Hospitals might be offered land at Wick Farm to build staff accommodation, car parking and care facilities. The land is in South Oxfordshire DC and I don’t know whether it is earmarked for development in the new Local Plan they are working on, so for the time being I think any claims should be treated with caution.

More gratuitous vandalism this week. All the windows of the library bus at St Nicholas Primary School in Marston were smashed overnight on Monday, and the school’s CCTV cameras ripped out.

The Garden flower shop turned yellow in support of @OUFCOfficial‘s appearance in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy against Coventry at Wembley on Sunday. Sadly, the match ended 2-1 to Coventry.

#COYY at The Garden, Headington shops
#COYY at The Garden, Headington shops

Another takeaway food shop in Headington? Planning application 17/00639/FUL is for a change of use of what used to be Connell’s Estate Agents (before they moved up the road) opposite Skipton Building Society from “Estate Agent (Use Class A2) to Hot Food Takeaway (Use Class A5)”. The applicant, Mr Selahattin Kaya, used to run a restaurant company called KARAZAN Ltd which was voluntarily dissolved in 2011. The consultation on the application closes on 27 April.

While we’re on the subject of food outlets, Dragon Express, who are taking over the old Rose Tree Restaurant, have applied to remove the outdoor seating and reinstate the area as ‘public highway’. I can’t remember ever seeing anyone sitting out there anyway, but perhaps I was never there at the right time.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

The reservoir is at the top of Headington Hill, behind the one that’s visible from the road.

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

  • Hospital parking
  • Marston Medical Centre.
  • Plans for 3,000 more homes to west of Barton Park
  • Disruption
  • Local elections, Thursday 4 May 2017
  • Dangerous opening