Headington Headlines #383

Your weekly round-up of local news for 27 August – 2 September

The planning application for the proposed new Swan School in Marston goes to the East Area Planning Committee on Wednesday (Agenda item 3). Agenda item 4 covers the demolition of the Meadowbrook Buidings and provision of temporary buildings. Under item 3 the report says “Officers consider that the proposal would accord with the policies of the development plan when considered as a whole and the range of material considerations, on balance, support the grant of planning permission.”

The 17th Headington Beer Festival is on next weekend @TheMasonsArmsHQ. It starts on friday 7 September.

The Mosaics/Barton Park development continues to make progress. I’m told all the first town houses have been sold. There’s a new boardwalk parallel to the Bayswater Brook, though you can’t see the water from it, and a small playground for small children beside the flood storage pond.

Barton Park play area
Barton Park play area

Rerouted buses using the Saxon Way entrance to the JR to avoid Access to Headington roadworks are being blamed for the road surface breaking up.

With the City Council in the news for contracting the letting of an upmarket apartment in the Town Hall to a local estate agent who in turn advertise it on AirBnB, @HeadingtonNews has been looking at AirBnB properties in Headington.

Police are monitoring South Park and Headington Hill Park in an effort to clamp down on drug dealing. They ask anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact them by phoning 101.

The Marston cycle path will be ‘rejuvenated’ this week. The County Council says “The resurfacing will take place in the week starting 3 September, and the path will be completely closed on 6 and 7 September. There will be alternative routes for cyclists during this short closure period.”

Marston’s Independent Councillor Mick Haines has published the second book in his ongoing biography series. I understand it’s currently only available via his daughter’s facebook page; I haven’t got a link for that. [Update 1700 03/09/2018 I now know that Mick’s new book is not part of his autobiography. It is “a fictional story based in Oxford in the 1950s and 60s”. Three pounds of the five pound cost is being donated to Cancer Research.]

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

Still no new posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week.

HMOs in OX3

Oxford City Council operates a register of HMOs (houses in multiple occupancy) in the city. An HMO is defined as “a building or part of a building that is occupied by three or more people from two or more households (unrelated families) who share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom, pay rent and it is their main place of residence.”The latest copy of the register (an Excel spreadsheet), dated  21 July 2017 is published on the Council’s website.

I have extracted the HMOs in the OX3 postcode area – there are 729 of them – and put them on a Google map.2 Explore at your leisure!


 The Council is currently consulting on the Preferred Options stage of the new Local Plan covering the period up to 2036. They are proposing a change in their planning policy on HMOs, arguing that purpose-built HMOs in the right locations could help the provision of affordable homes. If you are interested in this issue and the associated question of purpose-built student accommodation I strongly recommend you read the relevant sections of the Preferred Options document, i.e. paragraphs 3.52 and Option 19 on HMOs, and  3.53 – 3.67 and Option 20 on student accommodation, and send in your comments before the deadline of 25 August.


1. oxford_hmo_licensing_guide

2. A few premises with more than one HMO (e.g. a house with 2 flats) might only show as one marker on the map.