Headington Headlines #379

Your weekly round-up of local news for 30 July – 5 August.

A woman was attacked and robbed in Ferry Road, Marston by a man wearing a Halloween mask or face paint. The attack took place shortly after midnight on Sunday 29 July. Police are appealing for witnesses.

Residents in Wood Farm will be consulted from mid-August to mid-September on a proposed CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone). If approved, the CPZ could come into effect as soon as next January.

A 200-year-old oak tree in Risinghurst has been deliberately poisoned and will have to be felled. The tree is in the playing fields at the top of Grovelands Road.

Independent shop Pen to Paper joined twitter. Welcome, @ToHeadington!

Brookes was given planning permisson for a new building on the site of the Helena Kennedy Building on the Headington Hill campus. As well as the usual conditions the architects must produce a ‘detailed Lighting Strategy’ to include ‘lighting contour plans’. This is to ensure that night-time visual intrusion is minimised.

I reported last week that OU Hospitals had made a planning application to enlarge the A&E Department at the JR. Mysteriously, the application disappeared from  the City’s planning website sometime on Monday and as I write still hasn’t reappeared. At the Headington Ward Focus meeting on Tuesday the Trust’s spokesperson from OUH Estates didn’t know about it and couldn’t offer any explanation. Local Councillors @RosalindRogers and @SGarden13 asked planning officers about it at the East Area Planning Committee the next day; they couldn’t explain it either.

Screenshot 1649 05/08/2018
Screenshot 1649 05/08/2018

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

Brookes Development Plans for Headington Hill

Earlier this week Oxford Brookes and their consultant planners Turnberry put on a public exhibition of their latest development plans. This time it concerns the Headington Hill site; one proposal is for the replacement of the Helena Kennedy Building (HK), the other the redevelopment of the residential Clive Booth Student Village (CBSV). I was fortunate to be able to go to a full presentation by Brookes/Turnberry.

New Faculty Building replacing Helena Kennedy
New Faculty Building replacing Helena Kennedy
Picture © Turnberry

They plan to rebuild HK on the same ground plan, but to make a new faculty building which can be used to bring together “specialist functions from Arts, Architecture, Computing, Mechanical Engineering and Built Environment studies under the same roof. The building will become a hub for a variety of teaching, research and practical making activities.”

The plans for CBSV are more radical; they are looking to achieve a net gain of about 500 bed spaces which together with the major student accommodation development at Cowley Barracks will go a long way to getting the number of Brookes students in private rented accommodation down below the 3,000 target required by the City Council. At first sight the declared height of some of the new buildings seems excessive, but I was impressed by the amount of detailed work the consultants had done on both local and long-distance views towards and away from Headington Hill. This aspect will no doubt be subject to great debate once the formal planning applications are submitted and open for public comment.

New Faculty Building replacing Helena Kennedy
Clive Booth Student Village proposed new layout
Picture © Turnberry

Part of the thinking behind the proposals is to make the node point between CBSV and Headington Hill Campus more open, and to encourage students to use the Campus and the HK building as a through route to JHB/London Road/Gipsy Lane and to the sports facilities over the Headington Hill bridge. That way they will avoid the less attractive, poorly lit and potentially unsafe route of Cuckoo Lane and Pullen’s Lane.

For those who weren’t able to get to the public exhibition there is a copy of the display boards on this link (with thanks to Brookes and Turnberry). The two developments will be covered by two separate planning applications; HK will be first in a few weeks’ time, CBSV will follow and is expected to be submitted in early June.

Headington Headlines #358

Your weekly round-up of local news for 19 – 25 February.

The doctor whose fitness to practice was found to be impaired following the death of Connor Sparrowhawk at Southern Health’s Slade House has been suspended for a year.

Increased car park charges for Headington were approved by the City Council on Monday. They come into force in a few weeks’ time. Here again are the new charges for the car park behind Waitrose.

Table of Proposed charges for 2018
Proposed charges for 2018

It doesn’t say much for local democracy that these new charges are directly opposed to a Community Policy in the Headington Neighbouhood Plan, which says

“BRC1: CHANGES TO CAR PARKING CHARGES At off-peak times only, the car parks on St Leonard’s Road and Old High Street should provide free parking for 30 minutes followed by stepped parking charges”.

These Commmunity Policies are not statutory, but express how we want to see Headington change for the better over the coming years. The City has chosen to ignore it.

Oxford City Council is asking itself to give itself planning permission to build four retirement homes on a playground in Wood Farm.

Headington’s latest public artwork is a new piece by Saad Qureshi. His sculpture “Assembly” is in the courtyard of Oxford Brookes’ new Clerici Building, accessed from Gipsy Lane. Qureshi is an alumnus of the university.

"Assembly" by Saad Qureshi
“Assembly” by Saad Qureshi
Photo: Oxford Brookes University

For a full list of all Headington’s public art see headington.org.uk

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

There were no new posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week: