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.