Planning permission

What powers does Duns Tew Parish Council have with respect to planning applications?

Duns Tew Parish Council is consulted by the relevant Planning Authority (which is usually Cherwell District Council) on all planning applications.  Any views expressed by the Parish Council will be taken into account by the Planning Authority before a decision is made, providing the points made are relevant to the determination of a planning application.

The final decision is made by the Planning Authority, not the Parish Council.

Duns Tew Parish Council will only comment on what are known as “material considerations” – issues, for example, such as boundary disputes between neighbours or loss of views will not be considered.

Planning applications can be viewed at;

Do parish councils grant planning permission?

  • Parish councils are not Planning Authorities. Parish councils are only statutory consultees in the planning process
  • This means that they only have the right to be informed of planning applications within the parish
  • They cannot approve or reject planning applications
  • They can only comment on planning applications in the same way that individuals can comment
  • Consequently the length of time taken to determine a planning application is governed by the local planning authority not the parish council
  • A parish council can request that it be given extra time to comment on an application
  • The decision whether this is granted rests solely with the planning authority and it’s own deadlines for decision making

How do parish councils comment on planning applications?

  • Parish councils can only agree to comment on planning applications in properly called council or committee meetings which the public can attend
  • The comments agreed in the council meeting are submitted in writing by the parish clerk to the relevant planning authority
  • The process is exactly the same as that of an individual wishing to comment on a planning application
  • Parish councils are statutory consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment or not on applications

Valid reasons for comment on a Planning Application

Comments that are clear, concise and accurate stand more chance of being accepted than those that are not. When planning applications are considered, the following matters can all be relevant. These are sometimes referred to as ‘material planning considerations’:

  • Central government policy and guidance – Acts, Circulars, Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) etc.
  • The Development Plan – and any review of the Development Plan which is underway
  • Adopted supplementary guidance – for example, village design statements, conservation area appraisals, car parking standards
  • Replies from statutory and non-statutory agencies (e.g. Environment Agency, Highways Authority)
  • Representations from others – neighbours, amenity groups and other interested parties so long as they relate to land use matters
  • Effects on an area – this includes the character of an area, availability of infrastructure, density, over-development, layout, position, design and external appearance of buildings and landscaping 
  • The need to safeguard valuable resources such as good farmland or mineral reserves
  • Highway safety issues – such as traffic generation, road capacity, means of access, visibility, car parking and effects on pedestrians and cyclists
  • Public services – such as drainage and water supply 
  • Public proposals for using the same land 
  • Effects on individual buildings – such as overlooking, loss of light, overshadowing, visual intrusion, noise, disturbance and smell
  • Effects on a specially designated area or building – such as green belt, conservation areas, listed buildings, ancient monuments and areas of special scientific interest
  • Effects on existing tree cover and hedgerows
  • Nature conservation interests – such as protection of badgers, great crested newts etc.
  • Public rights of way
  • Flooding or pollution
  • Planning history of the site – including existing permissions and appeal decisions
  • A desire to retain or promote certain uses – such as playing fields, village shops and pubs
  • Need for the development – such as a petrol station
  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Presence of a hazardous substance directly associated with a development
  • Human Rights Act
  • Precedent – but only where it can be shown there would be a real danger that a proposal would inevitably lead to other inappropriate development (for example, isolated housing in the countryside) 

Irrelevant reasons for objection

There are certain matters which do not amount to ‘material planning considerations’ under current legislation and guidance. These matters cannot be taken into account in considering a planning application and should not be included in objections as they weaken your case: 

  • Speculation over future use
  • The identity of the applicant or occupant
  • Unfair competition
  • Boundary disputes
  • Breach of covenants and personal property rights, including personal (not Public) rights of way
  • Loss of a private view
  • Devaluation of property
  • Other financial matters
  • Matters controlled by other legislation – such as internal space standards for dwellings or fire prevention
  • Religious or moral issues – such as betting shops and amusement arcades
  • The fact that the applicant does not own the land to which the application relates
  • The fact that an objector is a tenant of land where the development is proposed
  • The fact that the development has already been carried out and the applicant is seeking to regularise the situation.  People can carry out development at their own risk before getting planning permission)
  • The developer’s motives, record or reputation

Other Matters – “concerns and issues”

The person making a planning application has to provide enough information for the application to be determined. They do not have to provide every single detail before an application can be approved because certain matters can be resolved by way of conditions included as part of the permission.

Because of this, certain issues may not be considered as ‘objections’ but it is entirely reasonable for you to raise concerns on such issues and to ask to be kept informed before they are approved. These include:

  • The proposed type and colour of the materials to be used
  • The exact nature of any proposed planting or boundary treatment

Road safety news from the Parish Council

Road safety news from the Parish Council

An initiative from the Parish Council (PC) resulted in a visit from the Technical Officer of Oxfordshire Highways. As a result of a walk through the village where issues were discussed, the following actions will be taken

Safety on the A4260 junction

This is a known issue by OCC (and by all drivers in Duns Tew!) but it is on a long list of jobs to be looked at. In the meantime it was agreed that all the signs would be cleaned (done), new arrows painted to make traffic movement clearer (done), an early grass cut in the Spring to keep the area right down the the speed camera clear and regular cuts though the growing season. (wait and see!)

In the long run there is a suggestion that traffic lights may be a solution here but it is a long way down the OCC list. Reducing the speed on the A4260 is regarded as costly and would require political will higher up than PC and police support.

Speeding control in the village and horse riding safety

White village entrance ‘gates’ to be cleaned, new sign asking for people to drive slowly and PC to purchase horses signs for the three entrance ‘gates’. A new horse sign in the Middle Barton Road just before entering village.

Road narrowing signs at the pinch point close to Midsummer Cottage and possibly ‘SLOW” painted on the road.

In addition, the possible use of ‘Sentinel’ camera which takes vehicle registration numbers. These are then passed on to police and letters are sent. On a third ‘offence’ a police officer will visit the owner of the vehicle and have a chat!

In addition, a letter has been written to our MP, County and District Councillors outlining the dangers present at this junction due to increased traffic. The MP has acknowledged the letter and asks to be kept informed as does our County Councillor.

Duns Tew community play park fully funded

Thanks to essential funding received from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, Duns Tew parish council is delighted to be able to begin the development of the community play park and recreation area.

Currently we have a large, rarely used, area of uneven field, only accessible across the tennis court. We also have a small seating area, equipment for toddlers, and a tennis court, which has no boundary fence. The aim of development is to open up this area to all.

Duns Tew community play park fully funded

Our development plan will create:

  1. paths and seating to enable access for our older community, buggies, and wheelchairs, as well as a meeting space for everyone, particularly our teens
  2. a flattened pitch for football/cricket, and a tennis court boundary fence to allow easy access to sports and leisure
  3. climbing, swinging and zip-wire equipment to entertain older children who currently don’t use our play area or climb on toddler equipment.

Age appropriate equipment will offer opportunities for motor skill development as well as a pleasant outdoor recreational facility.

In addition to the path, flattened pitch and play equipment listed above, plans also include a seating and BBQ area, which can be used for community events. This will provide our village with a much-needed, communal green space. It will also provide residents with another opportunity to have social contact without leaving the village. This is particularly important for some isolated older people who may not drive or have family nearby. Families with children who normally drive to parks in different villages will be able to stay in the village, use the car less, and use the village amenities such as the pub – again fostering our community and social inclusion.

Duns Tew community play park fully funded

The Parish Council’s own reserves were far from sufficient to cover this level of expenditure. This complete transformation has been made possible by generous donations from local groups, residents, and the grant from Viridor Credits.

Duns Tew community play park fully funded

Viridor Credits Environmental Company 

Viridor Credits funds community, heritage and biodiversity projects through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.  Over £139,000,000 has been awarded by Viridor Credits over the last 18 years.

Duns Tew community play park fully funded

The Landfill Communities Fund

The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is a tax credit scheme enabling Landfill Operators (LOs) to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). They use this funding for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites.

Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood Older Person’s Housing Survey

One of the of the MCNPs key policies is to improve the quality of life for older residents and this survey is important to help steer possible future projects in the neighbourhood – and in particular the proposed major facility for older people at Heyford Park.

The closing date for the return (in the pre-paid envelope) is December 18th.  You may already have had a survey through your door or will have one shortly. If you have not had one and would like one, or you would like one for a relative who might want to move locally if suitable homes were available, please email the clerk on