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Update on the Energy Link

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In September 2016 Vital Energi was granted Planning Permission at a meeting of the Oxford City Council's East Area Planning Committee, and Section 50 Licences were granted at a meeting of Oxfordshire County Council. There were a number of conditions attached to the City Council's planning permission that Vital Energi is currently discharging.

These conditions included the provision of an electric car charging point and a lighting plan for in the temporary visitors' car park at the John Radcliffe, a full archaeological survey in the trench on Churchill Drive, an aboricultural method statement, a 'live' traffic management plan and a communications plan. All the conditions can be seen on the Council website.

Vital Energi has to discharge the majority of these conditions before work can start. Some of this preparation takes a little time, for example

to brief and appoint archaeologists, receive and agree their plan and then factor this into the timetable and modus operandi for the civil engineers digging the trench

sourcing and getting quotes for electric car charging points for the temporary car park, and then including them in the architects' plans to ensure that they are in the best place, safe, have an electrical supply, etc. - it all takes time. 

However, Vital Energi believes that this process will be completed in the next week (10-14 October 2016). Naturally, this begs the question: "When will work start?"  

In answer, the timetable cannot be published and no work can begin before Vital Energi receives notification from the City Council Planning Department that they are happy that Vital Energi has discharged their conditions.

However, it is looking as though work could start on building the residents' temporary car park at the JR in week commencing 14 November 2016 for two weeks; then work on the Energy Link will start on Latimer Road and All Saints Road in week commencing 28 November. These dates are provisional. 

The County Council's Access to Headington (A2H) Phase 1 starts at the Churchill Hospital on 17 October 2016 and another condition of planning permission is that Vital Energi's work on London Road and Old Road cannot be done until that phase of the A2H work is complete (end of February 2017). So, Vital Energi's original plan to start on London Road has changed. London Road will not now be dug until A2H has completed its work at the Gipsy Lane junction (probably early March 2017). 

Confirmation of the timetable will be posted on the website and sent out to residents along the route as soon as it is agreed.

Vital Energi is also in detailed discussions with Winvic (the contractor building the student flats on Latimer Road / London Road corner).

These have centred on a very close collaboration on the building of a sewer and storm drain for the Winvic development so that the road is only dug once. This may mean that the work in this section of the Energy Link will take longer than originally planned because Vital Energi had not originally allowed for this additional work, but it does mean that the inconvenience is reduced to one set of works, not two.

There is a natural hiatus between the granting of planning permission and work commencing, because there is, excuse the pun, a lot of groundwork to complete.

So, whilst it might look as though nothing is happening, the preparation continues apace to ensure that when the work does start, it is more efficient.

If you need any information on the Energy Link, and how the works might affect you, please see the contact details here: