Your weekly round-up of local news for 18 – 24 March.
A newborn baby boy was found in a toilet in the JR Hospital on Monday. Police launched an appeal to help find the mother; she was later found and was looked after by the hospital. Mother and baby were later said to be doing well.
The work to make a surfaced path along Cuckoo Lane between Franklin Road and Pullen’s Lane, originally due to start last Monday, will now start today (25 March). Local residents and councillors had a site meeting last Tuesday to discuss the project. This post on the e-democracy forum has a link to the notes of the meeting, with explanatory pictures.
Dora Carr Close in Northway is one of five Oxfordshire building projects nominated for the RIBA South region awards 2019. All five are in Oxford itself. The regional winners will be chosen in May; the winners go forward for a National award, and from among those the Sterling Prizewinner is selected. To many people’s surprise, Westgate is one of the other nominated developments.
Hundreds of flyers for Society Hair Studio, of New Road in the city centre, were found dumped on the C S Lewis nature reserve in Risinghurst.
The Oxford Mail reports that house-builders Redrow have revealed their designs for the second phase of Barton Park. The company was given the job in February last year (see HH355). As I write this I haven’t seen the details; Redrow are best known for their very traditional designs but I have heard suggestions that their Barton Park development will be more in keeping with a modern-looking development.
Your weekly round-up of local news for 15 – 21 October.
If you’re affected by the overnight road closures around Headley Way/Cherwell Drive this post gives some more information about what’s going on.
Probably no-one was surprised that the Swan School planning permission was finally granted by the Planning Review Committee on Monday. The original reasons for refusal on strictly planning grounds were weak, and the objectors’ game was effectively lost when the County Council accepted the (in my view) dubious fudge over protecting cyclists on the Marston cycle path from motor vehicles crossing the path. On the plus side, Oxford needs more school places and realistically no other site was going to be found in a reasonable timescale.
Posh Fish was closed for a few days while they waited for new equipment to be delivered and installed. They’re open again now.
The proposed Controlled Parking Zone in Wood Farm, the plan for which first emerged in August (see HH379), has been announced by the County Council. You have until 16 November to send in your comments.
My favourite Headington-related tweet:
Netflix have just bought the rights to the seven Narnia books! Fingers crossed they don't make a mess of it. To mark this, here is the Narnia window in Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, Oxford. [England] C.S. Lewis is buried in the churchyard. pic.twitter.com/2ucUc9Vqa7
I noted at the end of last month in HH367 that nothing seemed to have happened for 18 months on the planning application to build next to the C S Lewis Nature Reserve on a plot in Wychwood Lane, Risinghurst. The original story is in my article “Border Skirmish in Narnia“.
One of the unsatisfactory aspects of the application was that it is made in the name of “The Wychwood Foundation”, an organisation that didn’t exist then and still doesn’t exist now. I say it doesn’t exist: it isn’t a registered charity, nor is it registered at Companies House. Search engines only know about it in the context of this planning application. It is not the same as any of several other “Wychwood” organisations including the Wychwood Project and the Wychwood Trust. Nevertheless, the Wychwood Foundation’s planning application seeks charitable exemption from the statutory development levy (CIL).
Then last week someone who had used the services of Beecher Accoustics sent me this letter they had received. The Beechers are the people behind the non-existent Foundation and here describe themselves as Trustees. One of the several bizarre things about the letter is the invitation to buy a 6 bedroom house adjacent to the plot they want to develop. The house is the one at the top of Lewis Close, number 7, which features in the planning application. This shows an access road into the development alongside this house in Lewis Close rather than from Wychwood Lane (where the Beechers live). I’ve looked at several online property sites and it looks as though the house is not on the open market. Do the Beechers actually own this house as well as the house they gave as their address 18 months ago, 4 Wychwood Lane? If they do own it, why isn’t it on the market? If they don’t own it, what are they doing inviting offers? Obviously it would help their cause if the owners of 7 Lewis Close were supporters of their plans rather than opponents, but what do they expect to happen if someone gets their letter and says they are interested in buying number 7?
Eighteen months ago the Beechers were, and still are, Director and Secretary of Beecher Accoustics Limited, registered at 1 Quarry High Street. Earlier this year (31 January) a new company called Quarry Mews Ltd was incorporated with the Beechers as Director and Secretary, together with a William Blackham, B H G Gadhoke and H Gadhoke. This new company is also registered at 1 Quarry High Street. It gives its nature of business as “Development of building projects”. The Gadhokes in turn are directors of, among other interests, Red Kite Property Investments Ltd which has an address in Lighwater, Surrey. It looks as if the Beechers have taken some partners on board to help progress their plans.
Meanwhile there still doesn’t seem to be any movement towards the planning application coming forward for consideration. It will be interesting to see what happens when it does finally surface at the East Area Planning Committee.
Footnote: Companies House information downloaded from their website on 15 May 2018.