Click on each to enlarge.
Harcourt Place, off Lime Road in Botley, is quickly approaching completion. Some people have already moved in.
There are three new road names for that area: Turner Drive, Ruskin Close and Millais Close. So, we are naming streets after painters, it would seem, rather than after, say, trees.
This just in, via Cllr Dudley Hoddinott, who had it from Cumnor parish council.
Notice of Temporary Traffic Order
Prohibition of Through Traffic and Waiting
Date of Order: 19 May 2014
Coming into force: 27 May 2014
Botley: Lime Road
This order is being introduced because of sewer connection works west of Laburnum Road junction which are anticipated to take 3 weeks to complete. The effect of the order is to temporarily prohibit any vehicle proceeding or waiting in the length of Lime Road between Laburnum Road and Sycamore Road. Appropriate traffic signs will be displayed to indicate when the measures are in force.
Exemptions are included for police, fire and ambulance services and for the works and for access to premises which are only accessible from the closed section of road, subject to progress with the works.
The alternative route for traffic affected by the closure is via Laburnum Road, Chestnut Road and Cedar Road.
This Order will remain in force for a maximum period of 18 months or until the works have been completed whichever is the sooner.
Traffic Regulations Team (Ref MDH) on behalf of the Director for Environment & Economy, Speedwell House, Oxford OX1 1NE. 0845 310 1111.
I’m told by the Bovis Homes Construction Director that the wheel washing facility is now up and running. Lorries stop there on their way out of the site to get the mud washed off the wheels. Hopefully, this will bring an improvement to the condition of local streets. I noted that the street sweeper is still doing his work too.
I have reported to Bovis the poor road and pavement repair after their recent sewer works. I haven’t heard back yet but will continue to chase. My understanding is that they are obliged to leave everything in the condition they found it. Of course, they still have a year and a half of work remaining, so much is still to be done.
The verge on Lime Road at the corner of Laburnum Road has been tarmacked over. This is a temporary measure to ease the access of lorries into the site, and also ease the bus turning into Lime Road. The verge and pavement will be restored once work is done. This was agreed between OCC Highways and Bovis as a solution to the lorries and buses destroying the verge there. (That corner looks to soon become yet another building site. Check out my Planning Applications page (link at top of this page).)
This photo is the view from the south eastern corner of the devlopment, taken from the bend in the road of upper Yarnells Hill.
In respose to residents’ questions about lorries tracking their mud (big MUD) into the roads, we’ve had this information from Martin Deans, planning officer at the Vale.
This is an excerpt.
[Developers also made the] decision not to install a wheel wash at this stage but to opt for the more expensive option of intensive washing of the road surface every day. The site manager is concerned that, were a wheel-wash located near to the site entrance, as it would need to be in order for it to be effective, the effect of the poor weather would be a significant risk of a large volume of liquidised mud and other debris flowing from the site into Lime Road and then running downhill along Laburnum Road, causing more widespread problems that will be much more difficult to combat. Mud is being deposited onto the road by vehicles leaving the site, however, the road is being swept regularly every day to clean as much of the deposit as possible, and then intensively washed to remove any remaining deposit to leave the road in a clean state.
I’m glad to know some of the thinking behind decisions. All we were able to see was that there was no wheel washing going on. Now that I know why, it makes sense.
This was just before 10am Thursday the 30th, and that is my car. No others, except waaaay down past the Woodbank site.
Laburnum Road was also empty for quite a ways down. I’ve texted the site manager to thank them all. (I don’t want them to think I only notice bad stuff.)
Some shots of the builders’ on site parking, seen through the trees next to the bridle trail. No cars parked on the bridle trail either.
(If you click on a photo you can see it in a bigger format. At least, that works for me.)
Probably you’ve noticed the chewed up verges on the corner of Lime Road and Laburnum Road. No doubt you’ve seen the traffic jams there as thoughtless builders park where the bus wants to go and where lorries are trying to manoeuvre their way into the development site. What a mess!!
Here’s whats’ happening.
- Bovis approached the Oxford Bus Company and Oxfordshire Highways to see if they could stone over the verge just on the buses’ turning corner, outside No 2 Lime Road. They both said, ‘Yes!’ Bovis plan to do this soon and will restore the grass verge when they are done. (Have you noticed that the verge opposite Rectory Homes’ Woodbank development has been restored with protective cones placed to help prevent more damage? Now they need to repair the kerbs and pavements!)
- The builders’ on-site parking was supposed to be finished last Friday, the 24th Jan. The week before that, it was promised on the 17th Jan. It seems to be in use now, as on road parking has eased considerably.
- There are FIVE construction projects in Lime Road and Arnolds Way at the moment. I include the work to refurbish No 28 Lime Road, because there are multiple vehicles working on that house. Woodbank opposite 2A Lime Road. Harcourt Place (as I guess it’s called now). The house refurb at 28, five ‘executive flats’ just past the school on the south side of Arnolds Way, and 5 executive homes just opposite that. Only Bovis have onsite parking. All the rest of them are parked on the street.
- Lorries hauling their loads away from the building site lose mud off the back, keeping the street cleaners working. Last week some big clots of mud fell onto Yarnells Hill. Astute and aware residents snapped photos and complained to me. But within the hour Bovis had sent the street cleaners to sweep it up.
- I’ve had a report that the tarmac and underlying concrete in Lime Road is cracking. I haven’t been up to see for myself. Does anyone have a photo they can send me? It’s outside 3, 5, and 7 Lime Road, I hear. I’ll report that to Bovis and to County (for highways).
- I complained twice to the site manager about builders vehicles parked on the bridle trail, or on the pavements and verges near the site office, preventing pedestrian passage. They were quickly cleared. It’s improving. At least now it’s not the same people doing the illegal or inconsiderate parking. The site manager is probably getting tired of my text messages.
- I noticed, and cringed at, the loud music blasting the neighbourhood from 8 til dusk. Someone else must’ve complained though, because it’s stopped.
- Boundaries on the south side, adjacent to upper Yarnells Hill, will be addressed. Bovis are in communication with residents there.
All in all, there are problems, but when they’re reported, Bovis respond. They aren’t trying to make us miserable, just to build scores of new houses as fast as they can.
I wish I had a projected end date, so I could count down the days until completion.
What a busy, noisy, messy week we’ve had up here! I look forward to Rectory Homes finally being finished. That will ease some of the strain.
Is it called Harcourt Place now? If I say, ‘Harcourt Place’ , will you know what I’m talking about?
Here’s the update for this week. I’ll be having a regular Friday talk with Bovis.
- The tarmacking didn’t get finished before Christmas, so some of it was done on 4th Jan (two days before they were supposed to be back!) I registered our discontent. In my opinion, one of the main things is to do what you say you will.
- From today, they’ve promised us no more parking on the bridle path. I saw two bricklayers lorries parked there this morning, and some lady walking her dog had to step off into the rough to get round them.
- Today, I’m told that from next Friday the 17th, builders will all be able to park on site. I’d expect that to ease the situation on Laburnum Road and Lime Road. With residents, OBU-HH students and builders all trying to park on Lime Road, when a laden lorry comes down there is just no way to get by!
- This morning, I heard the Beep Beep of a reversing lorry at 7:15. I complained about jumping the gun (work is supposed to begin at 8am). To my mind, 10 minutes might be acceptable. 45 minutes is not. Some people aren’t even up yet at that early hour. I expect this might become more of a problem as sunrise comes earlier. They’ve apologised to us — this morning a lorry showed up at 7:15. (Boo.)
- Remember we’ve been warned this period will be exceptionally noisy and messy, because they are hauling out rubble. That’s why the road cleaning vehicles have been so prevalent. They are noisy and splashy and not that much help. Usually they would come once a week. While the hauling is happening, since lorries drop mucky bits on the road, they’re here all day. That will ease after next week.
- They apologise for damage to the verges. They will be repaired on Monday 13 Jan 14, and in future as necessary.
- Boundaries at the southern edge (near Yarnells Hill and the Denes) will be attended to. Meetings with residents have been held.
- Plans for the path that’s to join with Oxford Brooks University’s paths will be planned and consulted on with the university. There were plans originally, but they didn’t join up. Bovis says that will be taken care of.
I guess it’s helpful to have regular communication with them. Feel free to contact them yourself. Gareth.Neale@bovishomes.co.uk is the Construction Director. Alan.Cook@bovishomes.co.uk is the Technical Director. I find both men to be very approachable and nice. Stuart is the site manager, no email, but phone him on 07584 475435 and he’ll try to help. But do remember he is under the kosh to get homes built. Or contact me and I’ll do my best to help.
Last week I visited the Lime Road development site especially to meet the site manager, Stuart, and explore how I might help. Well, I don’t wield a hammer or know how to lay bricks, but I can get the word out about what’s planned for the coming weeks. I thought that might be a help. Hillview is the site agent’s office, should you need to contact him.
Christmas break: last day of work 20 Dec 13, first day back is 6th Jan 2014.
Just completed: brick work on show homes is done, so the brick-layers (and associated deliveries) are finished for a bit.
This week before Christmas, the focus is on getting the main entrance road finished and tarmacked. (They call it ‘blacked’.) The main gate will have a gate-guard with special care taken during the school commute time (8:30-9 and I don’t remember if they said 3-3:30 or 3:30 to 4pm — but during the main time for walking home from school). Deliveries will avoid these times. Hopefully the fencing around the construction site will be completed (it’s partially there now).
Once the road is done, the full time gateman will see a delivery lorry approaching (and they will always come from Cumnor Hill direction) and wave them in the gate so the deliveries are made well back in the site.
The Christmas break is a welcome two weeks.
From 6th of Jan, the first job is to remove the two remaining buildings. Expect some noise and dust, but they will do what they can to minimize nuisance. Once the demolition is done, the rubble from all over the site will be hauled away, so there will be some noisy and dusty work for a few days. (They anticipate 4 days.)
The no-parking cones that have been crushed by lorries (irony not lost) will be maintained. Please could residents not park there. Additionally, the two-car-length spot just in front of Hillview should be kept clear. This is primarily so there’s no impedance to the buses making the turn into Lime Road.
The next area of development will be the buildings on the west edge of the property, adjacent to the playing fields.
I notice road signs are now referring to this as ‘Harcourt Place’. I’ve no idea if that’s official. For a short while they were calling it ‘Oak Mills’.
The parish council will be considering street names. Five are required, I believe. If you have an idea, contact the parish clerk on email@example.com. My imagination went along these lines: we can name them after citrus, since the streets are off Lime Road (Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Kumquat and Mandarin). Or we could decide on things related to Lime (Key, Marguerita, Dacquiri, Twist and Zest). what do you think? No, probably not.
Finally, can parents please remind their children to stay well away from the building site. It is dangerous to scale the fences, and against the law to pilfer supplies stored there.
All for now.
An aware neighbour contacted me yesterday to let me know things were happening at the Lime Rd site. (I didn’t go that way yesterday, so didn’t notice. In fact, I try to avoid the hazardous Lime Rd/Yarnells Hill corner altogether now and for the duration of the temp traffic lghts! What a mess!!!)
I have received no notice of planning permission from the Vale, although I’ve been expecting it any day. Neither have I received the construction management plan, which I also expect any day.
Last night I contacted our planning officer at the Vale, Mr Martin Deans, about my lack of notification about planning permission. I heard from him just now.
He said, ‘Planning permission is likely to go out today or Monday. Although not condoning commencement of work in advance of a planning permission, government guidance is clear that the council should not take punitive action against a developer who starts work when it is likely that a planning permission is to be issued shortly, otherwise there is a clear warning that the council will be hit for costs for taking unnecessary action and holding up a development that was likely to be authorised within a matter of days.”
So, no penalty for jumping the gun a bit.
I’ve also contacted Mr Alan Cook of Bovis homes for a copy of the construction management plan. He’s away until Monday, so Martin Deans is going to see if he can source a copy. When I get it, I’ll publish it and send out a link.
I’ll keep you posted.