Tag Archives: old power station

Gibbs Crescent: we get the lowdown and the highdown too

So today we took ourselves to St Frideswide’s Kirk, on the Botley Road, the one that couldn’t afford to build a spire although it tried to crowdfund it back in the daze. We’d never been inside before. (See footnote after the pictures – Ed.)

We only knew there was a public consultation there this evening because we’d seen a flyer in our letterbox in Mill Street from massive housing association A2Dominion last week – there was no notice outside of the kirk, either.

Regular readers of this bog will remember that Mike Magee almost evacuated himself when he heard the explosion on St Valentine’s Day (please excuse picture).

Anyway, here below are pictures of the project that A2Dominion plans to replace and displace the current residents of Gibbs Crescent. A2D officials referred to the residents being “decanted”, which is a new one on us for people.

Once the residents have been “decanted”, which could take as long as six months or longer, A2D will set in motion an application for planning permission, for 140 units on the site, some going as high as six stories, with space for only a few car spaces for wheelchair access.

Some of the properties will be dedicated to social housing – as far as we can gather it’s a portion of the 50 percent of the properties that will be “affordable” housing. The rest of the non-affordable properties will be let. An A2D functionary said any profits will be ploughed back into the housing association. The whole process could take three or more years until completion.

And as the Said Business School is set in that “timeframe” to redevelop the Old Power Station, it will be interesting to see the trundling and the comings and goings in the narrow gauge Victorian streets.

Unfortunately, no plans are available from A2D on the World Wild Web (sic) and there were no handouts, so we took these snaps below. If you have any questions, A2D will be glad to answer them. Email Claire Bartlett – claire.bartlette@a2dominion.co.uk at A2D by Thursday, the 27th of September, the year of our Good Lord! 2018.

The redevelopment of Gibbs Crescent, of course, will further gentrify West Oxford, init?

And due to the redevelopment of the Old Oxford Power Station, there will be much trundling to and fro in the narrow Victorian street called Mill Street over the next few years, and of course the Botley Road too will, as usual, be free of traffic.

We believe that St Frideswide, the patron saintess of Oxford, and her kirk was probably based on a pagan goddess called Freya or Frigga or something. But that’s all lost in the past. Don’t mention Pusey!!!

Here at volesoft.com, we’re talking about the future. The future of Gibbs Crescent, one of the few – if any – social housing communities left in the centre of Oxford, hangs in the balance. One source at A2D whispered – of course off the record – that many of the residents will be glad to leave the centre of the City. With a little help from their friends, of course.

Old Power Station plans show future is in boxes

The Said Business School (SBS) held consultations last Friday and Saturday on its future plans to redevelop the Old Power Station in Oxford to transform it into a conference centre and plush accommodation for executives and MBAs.

Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday here in Oxford were affected by snow and bitterly cold weather.

We asked about the consultation and a representative from the SBS said: “Given the difficulty caused by the weather we are planning to offer an additional date for people to view the boards and have the opportunity to feedback on proposals. The exact date has to be confirmed but we will give notice to the community. Let me come back to you in the next couple of days with details.”

In the meantime, details of the plans can be found here. Those plans include detailed views of the proposals, including plans to mitigate disruption to the local community on both sides of the river.  

Oxford University reacts to power station squat

Last week, a group of homeless people known as the Iffley Open House (IOH), occupied a space in the Old Power Station – by the river and just yards from what was The Kite.

Homelessness has become a big problem in Oxford, with numbers of poor people being forced to sleep on the streets.

Now we local residents have received a letter from the University – reproduced below. The University wants to develop the power station into luxury flats for the Said Business School, which is now too far from Mill Street.

The University wants to kick out the IOH because, it claims, the building is unsafe.  Us people in Mill Street know it’s unsafe because just a couple of weeks back two people touched some deadly seeds in the power station and had to be hosed down.

It is quite an adventure living on Mill Street, what with explosions, poisonous seeds, unexploded bombs and other goings on. ♥ 

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Oxford City Council gives power station plan the nod

The Said Business School (SBS) has revealed details about its plans for the Old Power Station in Arthur Street and it seems that chief planning officer Murray Hancock, Bob Price leader of Oxford City Council and Roger Harmsworth all seem agreed that it is a “good thing”.

(See Said Business School makes bid for Old Power Station and  Old Power Station seems to have a use.)

There is a public meeting about the SBS plans on the 13th of May.

SBS wants to turn the Old Power Station into a place that will provide short term residential accommodation for 160 students and other stuff. The students will be business suits and not undergraduates.

“Consultation” with local residents will precede several months of architectural planning with planning permission folllowing in mid 2016 and then a couple of years building the wing. The frontage of the building is Grade II listed.

Knocking bits down and building this wing will be an interesting logistical exercise given that access to the proposed site will be a bit net.

These screen shots from Google Earth show the area. The wine glass represents the Kite pub, on the corner of Mill Street and Russell Street. The Old Power Station is next to the river with the white roof. in the first screen shot, below.

An eighteen months to two year build will considerably disrupt the people who live round here. 

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Said Business School makes bid for Osney Power Station

Old Power StationAS WE mentioned a week or two back, Oxford University – which last year had zero plans for the Old Power Station (left)  in Arthur Street, Old Osney, suddenly did a u-turn and said it would be leased to the Said Business School for 30 years.

You can see what the “congregation” said here. We are so looking forward to executive accommodations…

Anyway, down in Mill Street – we were written up in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales you know – and us moderns describe the shenanigans as Carry On Mill Street, we  received a paper missive from the Said Business Centre inviting us to air our views.

Here’s what they had to say, sort of…. 

OsneyPowerStation2

OsneyPowerStation1 1

Oxford’s Old Power Station seems to have a use

geeseA WHILE BACK, I sent a Freedom of Information request to Oxford University – I wanted to know what the future of this building was.

Here’s what the authorities said last year – Ox Uni “had no plans”. Now Oxford University has plans.

The Old Power Station has had an interesting past – in the late 1890s it provided electrical power to Oxford, fuelled by coal. A look at the 1901 census shows quite a few people in Mill Street worked as stokers to generate the energy.  As far as I’m aware, it’s been used for many purposes since, including, anecdotal evidence suggests, testing jet engines.  It is certainly much higher than it was originally.

I’m grateful to readers of this blog that have now indicated what its future might be.  According to this Congregation notice:

“The capital investment priorities of the University, covering building, equipment, IT infrastructure and provision for matching emerging opportunities, are set out in the Capital Masterplan approved by Council. Two of the capital priorities have bearing on the future of the Old Power Station building.

“The first is a need for a Joint Museums’ Collections Study Centre – a facility that would bring together those parts of the museums’ collections which are not on display, or otherwise located, within their main premises (including artefacts currently located in the Old Power Station), in a state-of-the-art facility.

“The second is a need for better and more centrally located facilities for the Executive Education programme offered by the Saïd Business School. That facility would provide space for teaching and social interaction, together with accommodation. The Old Power Station has been identified as an ideal location for this facility, being in close proximity to both the school and the railway station.

“As each individual project within the Capital Masterplan remains subject to the usual approval processes within the University, Congregation’s authority for this future use of space at the Old Power Station is now sought. Project approval, through Council and its Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, will be sought in due course.”

To that end, the resolution is: “That the Old Power Station building (building number 189), approximately 4,020 sqm net usable area, be allocated to the Saïd Business School for a period of thirty years, the allocation being effective upon the building becoming vacant and subject to Council giving approval for the project to convert the building into a new Executive Education facility to proceed to completion.”

Well shiver my timbers! Some of us locals would like to know if the people who live in the Executive Accommodation will buy us locals a round at The Kite – a pub built in the early years of the 20th century, no doubt to satisfy the thirst of the poor bloody stokers.   

Port Meadow campaign

More culture hits Mill Street club

AS A LOCAL pointed out to me in the Kite last night, Mill Street is more like Corrie Street than a village.  The Kite was full of young Americans being inducted in the ancient game of Aunt Sally, so rather than going into the back garden for a puff, I wandered outside and watched them from afar.

But we got culture here as well as a club.  The Old Power Station, pictured below, is putting on a gallery of art by a mister called John Gerrard.  We haven’t had a chance to have a dekko yet, but we will, we will…

Old Power Station