Headington Headlines #388

Your weekly round-up of local news for 1 – 7 October .

In an incident that will play into the hands of the anti-Barton Park campaigners in Northway, a 13 year old boy was injured three weeks ago when he was hit by a car at the new light-controlled crossing on the A40. The car driver didn’t stop and the police are belatedly asking for witnesses or information.

A new Couch to 5k programme started on Thursday at Bury Knowle Park. It’s probably not too late to join in; this well-established programme is designed to get you fit with a gentle progression up to running 5 kilometres.

I went to see A2Dominion’s pre-application exhibition of their plans to redevelop the Ivy Lane flats at the JR and to build some new accommodation on Churchill Drive. My brief report is here.

A small scheme (planning ref: 18/01964/FUL) to widen the access to Headington School from Headley Way was approved this week. The wider opening will mean vehicles can drive in from Headley Way without having to wait on the road if another vehicle is trying to get out. The drawing below, submitted as part of the planning application, seems to show that the changed layout won’t interfere with the new cycle track to be built as part of Access to Headington.

Widening access from Headley Way
Widening access from Headley Way
Click for full-size pdf

The papers have been published for the Planning Review Committee meeting on Monday 15 October to review the refusal of planning permission for the Swan School. The recommendation is to overturn the earlier decision and grant permission.

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

  • Swan school planning application review

Ivy Lane and Churchill flats

I went to the short-lived pre-application public showing of A2Dominion’s plans to redevelop the Ivy Lane flats on the JR site, and to build new accommodation next to the blocks they already have on the east side of Churchill Drive. The display consisted of two boards showing the site layouts, one board with an earlier version, and various computer graphics of how the developments might look.

I didn’t glean very much information. The architects for both schemes are MEPK Architects. It was not clear just how much extra accommodation there would be, but there would certainly be more than there is now. There didn’t seem to be much to object to in the proposals but I think the contentious points locally will be access for construction traffic, especially for Ivy Lane, as the only viable route seems to be along Osler Road with access on the ‘bendy’ part. The Ivy Lane plans also show a ‘New Access’ entrance to the site on the bends; someone said something about needing to ‘open up the angles a bit’ to improve visibility for this entrance.

The other issue that might be controversial will be the proposed building heights. The site plans didn’t show this, but the architect’s images show some blocks up to (I think) 6 storeys, others less. This may well be acceptable, especially in the context of desirable densification, but the headline is likely to trigger local concern.

A2Dominion hope to submit full planning applications before the end of the year, which should fill in a lot of the details, but they admit they’ve still got a lot of work to do before being ready.