Vital Energi expect to submit their definitive planning application for the heatpipe roadworks next week. I went to a preview of the plans on Thursday evening, where I learned that they will be submitting the paperwork to the County Highways department for ‘Section 50’ approval of the roadworks at the same time. The two approval processes will run in parallel, each with their own statutory consultation period. If all goes well they could start work in September – but they and we won’t know until the processes are underway.
The good news for residents and commuters is that they are confident they can finish the roadworks more quickly than they originally thought. This is partly due to pressure from the County to do the work on London Road and Old Road as quickly as possible, using the full daylight hours and working at weekends, and partly through using more construction workers and dovetailing the work on the different sections more efficiently. They weren’t sure exactly how long they would take, but that should be clear once the applications are made public. This is likely to be two or three weeks from now as it takes a while for the City and County to validate the applications and publish them.
The other welcome news is that they have been having constructive conversations with the County engineers working on Access to Headington so that work on the two projects can be co-ordinated and the inevitable disruption kept to a minimum.
I and others will be watching for the consultation information to become public and will let everyone know as soon as it happens.