View more tweets

Enquiries about language school students

We’ve followed up concerns about impact on bus travel relating to language school students. Here is a response from the EF International Language Centre. We are contacting EF Language Travel too. The complaints were around packing of bus stops and of language students not having bus passes so slowing boarding time for residents.

Thanks for sharing concerns of local residents about disruption caused by language students.  We appreciate that this can be a challenge for people going about their daily lives during the busy summer months and do work with the local bus companies to do what we can do ease the situation.  I am sorry that some of your constituents are unhappy but would like to stress that whilst at times something of a nuisance, language students are generally well-behaved and do not present a threat.  

I am the Director for EF International Language Centre, which is a school for older students running courses year round.  Our students are aged 16+ and generally travel as individuals.  We do not have a lot of large group activities or movement around the city, and looking at the details of times and locations from the complaints you have received, these are certainly not activities which we have been involved with.

However our sister company, EF Language Travel, does have more group focused operations in Oxford through the summer vacation period, in particular running courses at Oxford Brookes campus in Gipsy Lane.  I will forward the complaints you have received to my counterparts there and ask them to consider ways which issues can be avoided as much as possible.

We are renting a small number of rooms at Dorset House, as noted in one email.  Our students arrived there last Sunday 10th July and will be there just for a few weeks.  Whilst there are restrictions on use during term time, student accommodation like Dorset House is available to any educational organisation during university vacations.  I believe there are a number of schools renting accommodation there but I will also pass these concerns to the manager in order that she can discuss with all schools. 



Renting out your drive. Is it legal?

We’ve been finding more out about this. There’s a lot of it about in Headington!

Here is the  CLG Planning Policy Guidance

Is planning permission required to rent out a parking space?

The Government’s view is that it should be possible to rent parking spaces without planning permission, provided there are no substantive planning concerns such as public nuisance to neighbours.

There is a public interest from such renting, by providing more cheap and flexible parking spaces for people to park their car and taking pressure away from on-street parking.

The decision on whether renting out a parking space requires planning permission will depend on two principal factors:

  1. The first is whether renting out a parking space results in a material change in the use of the space. Determining whether there has been a material change of use will depend on whether a space is used in a significantly different way to how a parking space would normally be used (irrespective of the identity of the driver). For example, if by renting out spaces, it causes a notable public or neighbour nuisance. A local planning authority will make this decision based on relevant facts and on a case by case basis.
  2. The second is whether there are any other relevant planning considerations, such as planning conditions, which impose restrictions that prevent parking spaces being rented out.

If renting out parking spaces does not amount to a material change of use and if there are no other planning considerations that prevent parking spaces from being rented out then it would not require planning permission.

Planning problems

We are fielding a number of complaints relating to planning currently.

We recognise that there has been a recent decision to change the use of a property in Kennett Road which appears to have conflicted with advice from County Highways re exemption from RPZ permits. We are pushing for the decision notice to be amended.

There have also been some issues regarding length of time to resolve planning applications, particularly those affecting Conservation Areas. We are asking the City Council to improve communications with customers in this area to ensure they are kept informed if there is likely to be a delay in determination.

There is concern about acceptable noise levels and start and end times for works in Latimer Road. It appears that works are starting at 07:00 however we have found evidence to show that building works should not commence till 07:30 because of unacceptable noise nuisance to neighbours. We have asked for clarification on this.

Cuckoo Lane wall

The condition of the wall in Cuckoo Lane (inside Osler Road entrance, north side) is often questioned by residents.

Is this wall safe?

Is this wall safe?

We have received the following report from a council building control surveyor which may be of interest to residents.

 I have visited the site and from my inspection consider the wall is not dangerous or in a position to collapse in its current state of repair. 

The reason for the crack and bulge appears to be from a historic ivy covered tree stump located right against the retaining wall bulge which when the cut tree was alive and growing, pushed the wall out prior to its removal causing the bulge.  

The large mature conifer close to the stump appears to be at full maturity and not likely to exceed in size which is unlikely to push the wall further out a couple of metre further down the pathway from the reported wall crack and bulge. 

The other reason for the crack is from thermal expansion and contraction of a very long straight wall running along Cuckoo Lane with no expansion joints (typical of a wall of this age and construction) which in colder periods, the crack will increase in size and on hotter weather close up almost completely, hence would not recommend it to be filled either to allow for the thermal expansion.

Therefore in its current condition, the wall is not in a dangerous state of repair and no remedial work required at this stage.

I trust the above is of assistance and reassurance

Latest planning permissions

All the following have been granted planning permission




Display of 1No. internally-illuminated fascia sign and 1No. internally-illuminated hanging sign.

112 London Road Headington




Demolition of existing rear extension. Erection of a single storey rear extension. Insertion of 3No. front rooflights in association with loft conversion.(amended plans) (amended description)


66 Stapleton Road Oxford




Application to certify the proposed formation of hip to gable and 1no. rear dormer is lawful.

12 Franklin Road Oxford





Application to certify the proposed formation of hip to gable and 1no. rear dormer is lawful.

10 Franklin Road Oxford


Oxford events next week.

  • Wednesday 20 July, Classical performance by Kyla Lingley, Broad Street, 9am to 3pm. Classical singing performance in aid of Breast Cancer Now.
  • Saturday 23 July, Oxford Eid Extravaganza, Rose Hill Community Centre & Recreation Ground, 12 to 7 pm. Oxford’s 2nd Eid event is an opportunity for all families from all communities to come together to enjoy and celebrate Eid. There will be a range of fun activities, entertainment and stalls for all ages.
  • Saturday 23 July, Run the Oxford Parks by Thames Valley Orienteering Club, Headington Hill Park, 10am to 1pm. Orienteering event around Headington Hill Park and parts of the Oxford Brookes Campus.
  • Saturday 23 July, Film under the Stars, Hinksey Park, 9am to 11pm. An outdoor screening of a family film.
  • Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 July, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits Sampling and Promotion, Broad Street, 7am to 12pm.
  • Saturday 30 July, Film under the Stars, Bury Knowle Park, 9am to 11pm. An outdoor screening of a family film.
  • Saturday 30 July, Play and Activity Day, Grandpont / SOAP, 11am to 3pm. OPA’s Play & Activity Days offer a range of activities to promote Positive Behaviours and Activities, Physical Activity, Healthy Lifestyles and Active and Engaged Communities.
  • Sunday 31 July, Oxford Beach Volleyball Courts Opening, Cutteslowe Park, 12pm to 4pm. To introduce the new beach volleyball courts to the community with exhibition games and interactive demonstrations for kids and adults to try out.
  • Monday 1 to Wednesday 31 August, World Vision Journey of Hope, Broad Street,9am to 9pm. In this annual fundraising event people can walk through two African exhibition huts and learn about the struggles of life in Sierra Leone and what a difference World Vision makes to people’s lives through providing beds, mosquito nets, schooling, education, clean water etc. People also have the opportunity to sponsor a World Vision child.

Tell the County your views on household waste sites


As part of securing HWRC sites across Oxfordshire, the Council will be seeking a new management contract to operate these sites. They would like to know your views on measures that could be taken to make savings and to create income, in order to provide the most affordable service for residents of Oxfordshire.

Household Waste Recycling Strategy & Consultation 2015
The above report sets out the results of the Council’s consultation on the future of HWRCs which was carried out in 2015

Unfortunately it appears that this consultation is again online, we are asking how residents who do not use the internet can send in their views.

Here is the link to the website where you can register your comments. The closing date is the 11th August.

Latest planning permissions and refusals


Change of use from dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4).
21 Franklin Road Oxford


Change of use from dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4).
23 Kennett Road Oxford



Erection of part single, part two storey side extension.

49 Staunton Road Oxford


16/01197/CPU REFUSED

Erection of garden outbuilding.

21 Latimer Road Oxford