News just in: a few weeks ago, Highfield residents and myself defended a planning decision concerning 16, Stapleton Road. The issue at stake was whether parking permits should be allowed for the flats. The application had been rejected, against the advice of officers, because the original application had envisaged a car-free development and this would clearly undermine that. At the appeal, the developer’s agent not only argued vehemently against the decision but also caused for the Council to pay costs to the developer for having acted unfairly.
The inspector’s decision has come through today: no costs against the Council and, what’s more, the appeal has been dismissed.
In reality, this is a small issue but an important decision. If it had gone the other way, it would have made it all the harder to be able to ensure that future small developments were car-free and thus reduced the number of vehicles in our area. That’s not to say there are not problems with car-free developments, with tenants often not realising they are not supposed to have a car and getting understandably upset when they are belatedly told that. But that’s not a reason not to try to make such a system work — and it’s very good news to have the inspector agree with us. I’d like to thank the residents of Stapleton Road who worked with Stephen, Ruth and myself to get this result: well done!
The Planning Inspector has allowed Headington School’s appeal against refusal for floodlighting for their new sports pitch bordering London Road. This will be a disappointment to the residents nearby who have been concerned about the possibility of light pollution as well as the ugliness of the lights. The North East Area Committee rejected the application when it was discussed and Cllr Chris Scanlan (LibDem, Barton and Sandhills Ward) represented the Council at the appeal.
Many thanks to those who attended our street surgery this evening, we enjoyed meeting you and are taking up the issues you raised. Over 25 people attended and the event was very worth while. We shall be repeating our street surgeries in areas across the ward. Please watch out for details of our next surgery by clicking the box in the left hand margin
Some of the issues you raised included: the future of the Dorset House site, uneven footpaths, the site of the old tree stump, the drains in Latimer Road, the delivery lorry at 4 am to St Luke’s Hospital, parking problems, rubbish problems at a site in Beech Road, RPZs for disabled constituents and their carers, green waste, replacement tree planting, cycling on pavements, affordable housing, and health and safety incidents involving buses in Osler Road
We are on the case!
I am about to join a review panel on antisocial behaviour which will have a remit for scrutinising facts and figures on how “antisocial behaviour” or neighbourhood nuisance is tackled by the City officers and the agencies with they work in partnership.
The scope of this panel is being drawn up currently – if you have any ideas about what this should be, or if you have any comments about the way in which antisocial behaviour is tackled across the City, please let me know soon – by Thursday 7 August, or at the street surgery in Latimer Road on Thursday night from 6.00 pm-7.30 pm. I would welcome your comments on this.
I have proposed the following amendment to the core strategy for discussion at full Council tomorrow, and thought I should explain a little about why I’ve done it. The amendment is:
I would like to propose that the following paragraph is inserted into the document just above Policy CS16
“Some existing residential areas currently have poor or infrequent public transport accessibility to key local services (such as a District centre), relative to other parts of Oxford. The City Council will work with its partners to improve bus services to such areas, particularly where this will support regeneration or social inclusion.”
There is already some mention of improving bus links between the proposed district centres, and this will strengthen our case for improving bus links between Headington and Summertown. However, having served on the North East Area Committee and having canvassed across the North East of the city, I recognise that areas like Risinghurst get a poor deal when it comes to bus services in the evenings and at weekends.
Another reason for proposing this amendment is to make sure that areas like Iffley, with a high percentage of elderly residents, stand a chance of getting a regular bus service out of the village. It will also help estates like Rose Hill get a regular bus service to its local primary district centre Templars Square – the new district centres will offer employment, amenities and shops so it’s important that residents in outlying estates with high levels of socio-economic deprivation have public transport to these key local services.
There has recently been lots of email traffic between councillors about the times at which public toilets are closed, and in my experience this sometimes happens (at Bury Knowle Park) before the shops finish trading, which seems to me to be rather a disincintive for people to continue shopping in the late afternoon. I have received the following instruction from a Works Manager which may be of interest to Headington residents and users of the Bury Knowle toilets who come to Headington to work, shop or study.
All public conveniences should be open between 08.00 and 17.00 daily and the supervisory team at City Works have been instructed to ensure that this is complied with.
Gloucester Green conveniences are opened at 07.30 by the car parks security team and are closed by this team at 23.00
There are also 24 hour facilities at Gloucester Green, Westgate Car Park, Magdalen Street East (Ladies) and Market Street
I would be grateful if you would pass on our apologies to anyone that may have been inconvenienced by some early closures.
It seems to me that when Headington is enshrined as a district centre in the new core strategy, one of the minimum service level agreements should be that there is one 24 hour public toilet facility in each district centre. Do let me have your views on this!
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There will be a meeting of Full Council next Tuesday 5 August to discuss “Oxford 2026: the Oxford core strategy”. This is a very important document as it outlines the planning vision for Oxford over the next 18 years, and discusses, among other things, the proposed development of Headington and its infrastructure. If you would like to see this document, please click on the website link and select the section you want to view under item 4.1.
The document will be formally published on 5 September 2008 and there is still time to contact either Cllr David Rundle or myself if you want us to raise any associated issue at full Council. Any planning policy changes in the future are likely to refer back to this document, so we need to make sure it reflects the views of our Group and our residents. Please let us know if you have concerns about anything in this document.
I have been contacted by residents to ask about the degree to which public consultation has taken place with regard to the prospective application to install a mast at Rock Edge. Please click on the planning application website to view this application and quote planning reference 08/01162/CPU. This is the reply from Planning Officers.
There are three types of proposal for telecommunications:
1. Permitted development notifications
2. 56 day proposals ( up to 15 metres)
3. Full applications.
For all three we notify neighbours within 100 m and schools within 200m,
although blocks of flats will get just a notice put up in the foyer.
In addition for those:
For category 1 above the letter advises that this is permitted
development and neighbours should write to the company not us.
For category 2 we also put up 4-5 site notices on community notice
boards and other strategic sites in the area
For category 3 as well as the site notices we also put a formal notice
in the local press.
This application falls under permitted development. It
appears from the system that the 100m ruling was applied in this
If you are a resident living close by this development (i.e. within 100 metres) and you feel you should have been consulted about the application but this has not happened, please get in touch with me via phone or email or via this website and I will investigate this further.
The planning officers have been working on a consultation guide outlining the extent to
which they should consult on all types of applications received by Oxford City Council’s Planning Dept. A copy will be posted on the Council’s website as soon as it has been signed off, and I will post a link to it from this website as soon as this has been actioned