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Osler Road planning application called into Committee

Planning application ref no. 18/00688/FUL at 20 Osler Road has been called in for decision by East Area Planning Committee.

Demolition of existing dwelling. Erection of 2 x semi-detached 4-bed dwellings (Use Class C3). Provision of four off street parking spaces, private amenity space and bin stores and cycle stores.

It is one of two applications for development on adjacent sites. The application for development on the next door site at number 18 is still out for consultation till May 11th. Both developments may also impact on properties in Stephen Road.

Latest planning decisions

The application for an extension in Stapleton Road has been given delegated consent but there was a split decision on an application for a certificate of lawfulness for proposed use on a property in York Road.

Please find details below.



Erection of a single storey rear extension.

8 Stapleton Road Oxford


18/00287/CPU  SPLIT

Hip to gable alteration, rear dormer and rooflights.

Single storey rear extension.

11 York Road Oxford

Tackling Headington’s dog fouling problem

Dog fouling is definitely on the increase according to the responses to our street surveys. Together with the City Council there is to be a new initiative in the area as detailed below. Before anyone asks, yes we are aware of dog fouling in other areas too (and particularly in New Headington) but this is a good start. We are not publishing dates and times for obvious reasons!

There will be three operations focusing on three hot spot areas.

  • Margaret Road Recreation Ground and surrounding Streets.
  • Franklin Road and Surrounding Streets
  • Pitts Road and Surrounding Streets

The operation will include carrying out enforcement action, updating the area with the PSPO enforcement information and hand delivering educational letters to local residents to areas that overlook green space areas.  

This will be a high visibility operation.

Planning applications in Osler Road

We note that properties at both 18 and 20 Osler Road have sizeable planning applications on them and have obtained guidance from the planning officers about how these will be processed.

The same planning officer will deal with both the applications.

The applications are from two different applicants.

However the delegated decision for 20 Osler Road is currently due to be made sooner than the delegated decision for 18 Osler Road. We have asked whether the impending development at the adjacent property would be taken into account by the planning officer when considering the application at no. 20 but we are informed that this would not be a material consideration at that time.

Any queries, please get back to us – it’s a tricky one to explain!

Re-elect Altaf as your Lib Dem Headington Ward Councillor!

Roz and Ruth are delighted that Altaf is re-standing in Headington Ward.

All three Lib Dem councillors work closely as a team to represent the views of all Headington Ward residents and get action on your behalf. We send out regular Focus leaflets and e-bulletins to keep you fully informed about local issues, and hold street surgeries and monthly public meetings at which you can hold us to account.

Altaf writes:

I have been residing and working in OX3 for almost three decades and am very well versed with the area, the people and their issues. I am a family man and all my children have been born, bred and schooled locally.

I was first elected as an Oxfordshire County councillor in 2005 for Headington & Marston Division. I was re-elected in 2009 till 2013. I have also been an Oxford City councillor since 2006, I have held various portfolios including Education, Community Development and Safety, Planning and Transport.

 At the Oxford City Council, I have been an Executive Board member for Community Development and Community Safety. In addition, I have held various positions as opposition group member. I have chaired the Community and Partnership Scrutiny Committee (currently member) and was member of the East Area Planning Committee as well.

 In addition to the above, I have made major contribution to Controlled Parking Zone schemes, Traffic calming Schemes and London Road Improvement Scheme. I have always prioritised my constituents’ case work and maintained my visibility through all available means to stay in touch with them.

 I have a close working relationship with both my fellow Oxford City/County councillors, we work in unison for our joint constituents.

 I would like to improve Headington to a cleaner, greener area with respect to Traffic/Transport, Environment, Health and Community development/safety. I would like to keep my focus on planning and community engagement so that the council does listen to the people of Headington.

I am a people person and have always taken pride in my commitment in this respect.

Response to County Council proposal to make car-free property eligible for CPZ permits

The County Council is proposing to enable eligibility for residents of No. 2A Gathorne Road (conversion to Flats 1 to 6 Wingfield House) to apply for residents parking permits and visitors permits. This follows the rescinding of a decision taken at an earlier Cabinet Member for Environment delegated decisions meeting.

Headington Lib Dem councillors have sent the following response to the consultation.


6 April 2018

We are writing to object most strongly to the above proposal for the reasons listed below.

1    This would contravene the condition of planning consent for the above properties

  • Planning consent for these properties was given only on condition that the development would be car-free. That condition was informed by advice given by the County Council in its capacity as statutory consultee.
  • The evidence for this development to be car-free was substantial and well-considered: the properties are within walking distance to local shops, schools, facilities, and bus routes leading to Oxford, London and the airports. A local car-sharing scheme is also in operation and there are a number of cycle hire schemes which are popular in the Headington area.
  • We believe that the granting of eligibility for parking permits and visitors permits to the above housing units designated as ‘car-free’ against the condition of planning consent would set a precedent for all other properties in Headington and across the City. This might well lead to a huge number of other similar applications; this is a common request in Headington from owners of HMOs and flats – units with parking eligibility attached are highly prized and generally command higher prices. Parking pressure is already unacceptably high in parts of Headington because it has become a major employment hub, and councillors receive complaints from long-standing residents who pay the County Council for parking permits but cannot find an on-road space to park their vehicles without difficulty.


2          This would be unacceptable as it is inconsistent with County Council strategy 

  • The County Council is carrying out its Access to Headington scheme on the B4995. The objectives of that scheme are, inter alia, to:
  • Manage growth in car traffic by improving provision for more walking, cycling and use of public transport
  • Reduce congestion
  • Promote health and wellbeing by reducing transport’s environmental impacts

We believe that the County Council’s objective to reduce congestion is not best-served by encouraging more vehicle parking.

  • This area is very well served by public transport, and is becoming more cyclist and pedestrian-friendly The County Council’s Oxford Transport Strategy seeks to introduce Rapid Transit buses to improve public transport still further in the Headington area.
  • The Access to Headington scheme for the B4995 Windmill Road will result in a net loss of on-road parking spaces. Windmill Road residents will be looking to park in adjacent residential roads including Margaret Road, Gathorne Road, St. Anne’s Road and Rock Edge. So there will already be extra parking pressure in the Gathorne Road area. Any extra parking permits granted to car-free housing will add to the parking congestion and increase traffic movements half-on and half-off the footway.


3          Current parking pressure

  • Local residents have demonstrated to us that there is already parking pressure in Gathorne Road. There are fewer parking places than the number of housing units in the road, and a number of homes do not have off-road parking. Carer parking is required by those in supported living accommodation, and one space is designated disabled only.
  • The Chair of the local residents’ association has supplied photographs showing that the on-road parking places are frequently full, and we are assured by residents that this is frequently the case.
  • Eligibility for permits for ‘car-free’ units will mean that on-road parking spaces will be competed for by even more Gathorne Road residents and tenants, and parking overspill will spread to neighbouring roads causing inconvenience to the wider community.


4          Inspector’s decision at the appeal

  • We recognise that a challenge to an inspector’s appeal decision would be unusual. However we believe that on this occasion the inspector’s appeal decision should be challenged, as it seems to us to be ill-considered given the weight of evidence against it and the gravity of the precedent such a ruling would set.

In conclusion, we believe that the County Council should act consistently with the advice it gave at planning consultation, and with its strategy on reducing environmental impacts and congestion in the Headington Area.

We believe that the Cabinet Member listened carefully to the views of residents and members and made a balanced decision at the earlier Cabinet Member Decision meeting on 12th October last.

We urge the Cabinet Member to reject this proposal.


    Roz Smith

    County Councillor for Headington and Quarry Division


    Mohammed Altaf-Khan and Ruth Wilkinson

    City Councillors for Headington Ward

LED lights in Headington – County response

We have contacted the County Council following national newspaper articles on a recent Public Health England document that referred to adverse health effects of LED street lighting.

The street lighting team has sent us a statement as follows (sic):

“The Council is fully aware of the report published by Public Health England, which builds on previous research which has been available for some time and refers primarily to the much  5000k LED lights that are available on the market which, whilst the most energy efficient, contain a higher level of blue light. Since the council started implementing LED lighting however, the council has acknowledged the need to balance potential savings in energy use and potential health impacts and as such have specified a warmer light for residential areas (3000k) and slightly bluer light (4000k) for the strategic road network. This approach follows the guidance outlined within the PHE report. Notwithstanding this, it is recognised that there are always people who may be more sensitive to such lighting than others, and where this has occurred the council has worked with individuals to install further modifications to minimise the impact and will continue to do so on a case by case basis.”