First, many thanks once again to all those who engaged with our recent Consultation on the review of the Neighbourhood Plan. We had a great response:

– 176 people submitted comments
– 662 comments in total were received
– 245 people attended one or more of our ten local engagement meetings

The Forum parish councils are now completing the process of reading all the comments and taking on board the many constructive suggestions for changes to our draft policies, as well as objections to some of them. We also have the preliminary views of various statutory bodies and Cherwell District planners to take into account.

The next step is produce a further iteration of the Plan, together with a detailed record of all the representations received (anonymised) and our response to them. Following submission to Cherwell DC, they will conduct a further public consultation on the basis of those documents. This will probably be in the Summer of 2024.


In November 2023, Heyford Park PC told the MCNP Forum that it wished to resign membership of the Forum. It was planning to create its own separate neighbourhood plan for Heyford Park, and subsequently applied to Cherwell DC to have the parish designated as a “neighbourhood area”. This is the first step of many that are needed to create a new neighbourhood plan. It took the MCNP over four years to do so.
No decision has yet been taken by Cherwell following their consultation on the application. In response, the Forum submitted a 19-point objection to Heyford Park’s proposal. We do not think it will serve the best interests of the local communities. We understand that the initial decision will be taken by Cherwell’s Executive at its meeting on June 10th. 2024.

In the meantime, Cherwell planners have told us that they will not progress any submission of our Revised Plan, due to the uncertainty of the outcome of the Heyford Park designation. Our work on the Plan is proceeding, but submission is therefore delayed until after the June meeting.



Dorchester Living, owners of Heyford Park, delivered a presentation in February to Forum members and others of their long-term vision for Heyford Park. The aim is to pre-empt planning policy for this important strategic site by forcing Cherwell DC to determine Dorchester’s proposed submission of their new “masterplan” for planning permission this summer (a presentation plan is shown above). A refusal will likely trigger an appeal.

It is a very ambitious proposal, taking in large areas of the historic Flying Field as well as 250 acres of greenfield land to the south of the current development. The original permission at Heyford Park was for 1,075 new dwellings. The latest version is for 6,000 more homes – virtually a six-fold increase. While Dorchester suggest that much of the development would not start until 2040, it is nevertheless the aim to secure the long-term plan now, so that infrastructure improvements (such as the idea of re-opening a railway station at Ardley) can be promoted.

A central objective of the MCNP has always been to avoid the loss of countryside and damage to the rural setting of our villages. The Forum has already expressed its opposition to building on greenfield land adjacent to Heyford Park, and has serious concerns about the scale of Dorchester’s greatly increased ambitions for the town, not least because of the impact of traffic on our country lanes. We hope to be able to maintain constructive discussions with Dorchester Living, and will keep you informed on this important issue.