The Parish Council exists to look after the interest of the community of Duns Tew. It has powers with relation to issues such as highways, traffic, housing, street lighting, seats, bus shelters, rights of way and is consulted on all local planning.

Parish Councils are part of the local government system and work closely with the district and county council to help ensure services in the village are maintained and developed.

Parish Boundary

Duns Tew Parish council boundary



Parish Council meetings are usually held on the 1st Monday, every other month, at 19:30 in the village hall. All villagers are very welcome to attend. The agenda is posted on the village notice board at least three days before the meeting and will confirm the date of the next meeting.

Planning Committee

Duns Tew has a separate planning committee (Councillors Tom Lindley (chair), David Jackson, Harriet Stapleton and Jonathan Miall) which meets monthly, depending on the requirement to review applications. All applications are reviewed by the current parish councillors and only if they object to the plans will a planning meeting be called.


Tom Lindley CHAIR


David Jackson VICE-CHAIR

Governance & Standing Orders, VAS/Speeding, Resilience Group, MCNP

Charles Landless

Footpaths and Bridleways, Poors Land, Highways, Grass, Street Cleaning & Furniture, Resilience Group, MCNP

Juliet Semple

Emergency Plan, Community Groups, Welcome Pack, Defibrillator, Bottle Bank, Planning

Jamie Hall

Play Area, Village Tidy-pp, IT (Website, Newsletter project and Cloud)

Harriet Stapleton

Planning (Chair), Newsletter, Village Hall committee representative

Parish Clerk

The Parish Clerk is the main contact for any queries within the village so please feel free to contact her with any problems/questions you may have that you feel the Parish Council could help you with.

Jean Ralfe

5 Glebe Court, Duns Tew, OX25 6JY

01869 349012

Data Protection Officer

District Councillor

Mike Kerford-Byrnes CONSERVATIVE

01280 848911

07805 665393

County Councillor


07500 930522

Member of Parliament

Victoria Prentis CONSERVATIVE

0207 219 8756

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What decisions does the Parish Council make?

Parish councils have limited powers to make decisions but they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as the district or county council, health authorities, police etc.). In this respect parish councils are extremely powerful. The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and its views will be taken seriously.

How do I report road or street problems (eg potholes)?

Report it online at FixMyStreet:

What is a conservation area?

Additional planning controls exist within conservation areas which provide protection to boundary walls and larger trees and restrict Permitted Development rights. This is to ensure that any alterations do not detract from the appearance and historic significance of the area. If you live in a conservation area you have to obtain permission before making changes which would normally be permitted elsewhere. Duns Tew conservation area map:


Duns Tew Parish Council

  • Allotments
  • Bus shelters
  • Cemeteries
  • Commons land and common pastures
  • Community centres
  • Flagpoles
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Play area
  • Street lighting
  • Village hall

Cherwell District Council

  • Benefits payments
  • Collecting council tax
  • Homelessness support
  • Electoral registration
  • Environmental health
  • Housing
  • Leisure
  • Local planning
  • Street cleaning
  • Waste collection

Oxfordshire County Council

  • Adult social care
  • Children’s services and education
  • Fire and rescue service
  • Libraries, cultural and registration services
  • Public health
  • Highways and transport
  • Spatial planning
  • Trading standards
  • Waste disposal and recycling centres

MCNP Jan 2018 update

Plan ready for submission

Following our Pre-Submission consultation, which closed in October 2017, all the Plan documents have been amended to take account of many helpful comments that were submitted by local residents, various organisations and land owners, and statutory consultees.

We received 93 submissions in all, and it took until just before Christmas for the Forum to work through all of them in detail, deciding how we should respond in each case. You will be able to see a summary of all the comments submitted, together withMCNP’s repsonse to them in the
Consultation Statement. This is one of the five mandatory documents that are about to be formally submitted to Cherwell District Council (CDC).

One of the documents, required by EU legislation, is a “screening” to demonstrate that the policies of the Neighbourhood Plan will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment. We had believed that this document would be prepared for us by CDC after submission, but were only
recently told that it must be done first. In the event we have had to produce it ourselves and are now planning for the formal submission in February, three and a half years after our Neighbourhood Plan was first conceived. Patience, we are told, is a virtue.

One of our policies, Policy PD3: Development at Heyford Park, has been a contentious issue for some months. At the time of the presubmission consultation the extent of the proposed “zone of non-coalescence” between Heyford Park and the hamlet of Caulcott (in Lower Heyford parish) was undecided.

In December, the Forum voted on a number of options and decided on a zone whose northern edge follows the parish boundary between Lower Heyford and what will in 2019 be the new parish of Heyford Park. The extent of the designated zone is shown here in yellow, marked Zone 2.

MCNP Jan 2018 update

What happens next? Following our submission, CDC will publicise the fact and invite comments over a six week period. They will then appoint an external Examiner who will be given all our documents, all the responses to the Council’s consultation, and any new comments of their own. The Examiner’s report will then be published and any final amendments necessary will be agreed.

MCNP Feb 2018 update

Great turnout for engagement meetings

Our nine events around the neighbourhood in January were a great success. Over 300 people braved often freezing weather to show their support for the Neighbourhood Plan and to ask many questions. Most of these were answered on the spot by Forum members, and all of them will influence the policies and the Plan document that is now being reviewed.

Traffic remains top issue

Although questions ranged across infill housing, future schemes at Heyford Park, green spaces, and other topics, traffic-related issues were most commonly raised. Concerns about speeding, increasing volumes of traffic – especially HGVs on country lanes, and the need for more bus services, were raised at most of the events. MCNP’s Traffic and Transport working group has been gathering proposals from each of our parishes to develop an overall traffic mitigation scheme that can be included in our draft Plan. This will need to be successfully negotiated with CDC, OCC and major developers at Heyford Park if it is to have the desired effect.

Possible new policies

While yet to be discussed by the Forum, a number of ideas put forward by local people for additional Plan policies look likely to be agreed. There has already been wide support for a new “dark skies” policy controlling light pollution – particularly from street lights in new developments. Another might be to control the loss of existing trees and hedgerows, together with other biodiversity-related policy, while a further new policy would seek to protect important views in and across the neighbourhood. These possible new policies will be considered at the March Forum meeting.

Heritage and character assessment

Some of our policies seek to protect the traditional rural character of the villages and the neighbourhood as a whole. To have real effect, the rather vague notion of “character” needs careful definition, and to that end MCNP has received Government support to commission consultants AECOM to carry out a “Heritage and Character Assessment” of the Plan area, which is now under way. This document, when completed, will be an important plank of “evidence” supporting our policies. Parish councillors and local historians have been gathering relevant documents which detail the heritage and the history of our villages, which AECOM will use as a basis for their recommendations.

Local green spaces

Recent legislation permits local communities to nominate valued green spaces for designation that would protect them from development. MCNP has asked the 11 parish councils/ meetings to put forward nominations that can be included in the Plan. So far we have 54 nominations and we are looking at ways of shortlisting these so that the most important green spaces are included; we have sought advice from Cherwell DC about the extent of protection that already exists. Land owners may object to such designation of their land; the Independent Examiner will take objections into account when the Plan is examined later in the year.

MCNP comments on development proposals

Although the Dorchester Group participates in the Forum, the parish members of MCNP may from time to time wish to submit comments on planning applications submitted by Dorchester. Such is the case with two recent applications – the first for a new commercial zone on the “Southern Bomb Stores” site and the second for Phase 9 housing – the construction of 297 new dwellings on the part of the site closest to Upper Heyford village.

MCNP ‘s concerns on the commercial zone relate to heavy goods traffic and the basis of figures submitted by the applicants which may be questionable; concerns about the housing scheme are, unfortunately, numerous and echo many of the issues raised by CDC’s urban design adviser. Our letters can be seen on CDC’s website
and entering “Heyford Park” in the SEARCH box.

MCNP also responded to CDC’s recommendations following consultation on the Partial Review of the Local Plan Part 1 – the so-called “Oxford overspill”. Our response was to support Cherwell’s findings that our area was completely unsuited to take large-scale housing to assist with Oxford’s problems. We asked that the “search areas” which include the MCNP neighbourhood area be deleted from further consideration.

Dorchester consult on new village centre

Designs for the proposed Village Centre at Heyford Park will be on show on February 8th at the Brice Road Community Centre.

The scheme comprises three mixed use commercial and residential blocks, one of which will include a convenience store. The blocks will also include a number of one and two bedroom apartments, of which 30% will be affordable.

Click here for more details.

Congratulations to Bloxham

As we reported in our last Update, parishioners at Bloxham have voted overwhelmingly in favour of their Neighbourhood Plan. Following this, the Plan has now been “made” and officially adopted as part of the Development Plan for the area. We offer our congratulations to the second NP to achieve this status in Cherwell (Hook Norton being the first).

MCNP Forum members continue to scrutinise the valuable experience of groups whose Plans have successfully undergone Examination, and we learn something new from each one.

……and lastly

What happens next? Following the January local engagement meetings, we will review what you have said, take expert advice, and modify the Plan and its policies. The full Plan document will then be made public in the “pre-submission consultation”, after which it goes to Cherwell District Council on its way to the Independent Examiner. So….we have a few hoops still to jump through.

Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan launched

Oxfordshire’s latest neighbourhood plan – for the Mid-Cherwell area – has been launched after three years of preparation. Unique in the UK because of its scale, the Mid-Cherwell area comprises eleven rural parishes in the Cherwell District of North Oxfordshire. At the heart of the neighbourhood area is the former RAF Upper Heyford airbase, now a strategic development site called Heyford Park, whose developer is also involved in the plan. It was this development that was the stimulus for many surrounding villages to get together to create a statutory plan covering the wider area for the next 15 years.

The hard work of the Forum, the body leading the plan and representing all the participating communities, has now resulted in a list of policies concerning traffic, housing development, and community infrastructure – including the proposed designation of 29 “Local Green Spaces”. The documents can be viewed online, from Monday August 7th, at Mid-Cherwell’s website and hard copies are available at local community centres, village halls and from the parish councils concerned.

Responses are invited from any interested parties, but especially residents and businesses in the area itself. The pre-submission consultation period starting on Monday, August 7th 2017, lasts for six weeks to Tuesday, September 19th , 2017. Following a review of all the responses, a final version of the plan will be submitted to Cherwell District Council before the end of the year. The plan will then be subject to independent examination and a referendum before becoming part of the statutory development plan for the area.

Contact Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan Forum at

The members of the Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan Forum are:

  • Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council (lead parish)
  • Duns Tew Parish Council
  • Fritwell Parish Council
  • Kirtlington Parish Council
  • Lower Heyford Parish Council
  • Middle Aston Parish Meeting
  • Middleton Stoney Parish Council
  • North Aston Parish Meeting
  • Somerton Parish Council
  • Steeple Aston Parish Council
  • Upper Heyford Parish Council
  • The Dorchester Group (associate member)
  • Heyford Park Residents Association (associate member)

Park development vote

The Duns Tew Park Committee and Parish Council have three different proposals for the development of the field in Duns Tew Park:

Option 1: Wooden equipment situated around a bike/scooter path, maintaining a pitch area

Park development vote

Option 2: Wooden equipment situated across the field area with planting
Park development vote

Option 3: Pitch area with the addition of benches and a wooden shelter
Park development vote

These proposals have been have been drawn up based on the results of a village survey and comments in the village appraisal. The top five requests were a pitch area (23 votes), a climbing area (21 votes), a zip wire (21 votes), benches/seating (21 votes) and scoot/bike area (19 votes). We now need you to decide which option to go ahead with.

Please look at the pictures and choose the one you like the best. Please consider your needs, those of your family and the wider community. Your vote is important. Voting closes on Thursday 31st August 2017.

How to vote:

  1. Online at using a unique and anonymous reference code which you will find in the August village newsletter
  2. If you do not have internet access please can you put a note with your choice of design and unique reference code in an envelope and deliver it to the Parish Clerk, Hilary Skaar at The New House, Duns Tew, OX25 6JR (diagonally opposite the pub).

Many thanks for your help.

The Duns Tew Park Committee

Parish Council vacancies March 2017

There is currently one vacancy on the Parish Council.

If you would be interested in joining the Parish Council please write to the Parish Clerk expressing your interest. For more information or to discuss the vacancy please contact the Parish Clerk.

To qualify as a Parish Councillor you must be over 18 and one of the following;

  • A local government elector in the parish
  • An owner or tenant in the parish for the last 12 months
  • Have worked in the parish for the last 12 months
  • Have lived within 3 miles of the parish boundary for the last 12 months

Closing date for applications – Monday 10 July, 2017, 10:00

Mrs. Hilary Skaar
Parish Clerk The New House, Duns Tew. Bicester, OX25 6JR
01869 340269

MCNP March 2017 update

Kirtlington refusal

Cherwell District Council’s Planning Committee took the unusual step of going against the recommendations of their own officers’ report on February 16th. A scheme for 10 dwellings at Mill Lane (shown below) was refused outline planning permission by unanimous vote of the Committee’s elected members. Kirtlington Parish Council had objected, and MCNP had also submitted a letter of objection.

The officers’ report listed numerous aspects of the proposal that were admitted to cause harm to the village, but it was claimed that there were benefits that outweighed these harms. The elected members, however, could find no benefits to the village and completely agreed with the list of harms. Some of the interesting points used to support their refusal were:

  • The site was agricultural land outside the village settlement area
  • The access road was from a bridleway which had restrictions on the type of traffic permitted
  • There was no affordable housing proposed, and yet the site was deemed “suitable” for 11 or more dwellings, which Council policy set as the threshold for requiring affordable housing
  • The development failed to integrate with the village
  • In view of the progress of the Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan, in which Kirtlington were major participants, approval would be premature.

Dorchester preparing new overall scheme

We understand from the Dorchester Group, associate members of our Forum, that they are preparing to submit an outline planning application for the remaining elements of the Heyford Park scheme. This follows the abandonment last year of a jointly-commissioned “masterplan” with Cherwell District Council, after the Council received advice that such a masterplan would have to be regarded as a variation to the approved Local Plan.

So instead, it has now been decided that an application from the developers will be made to fulfil much the same purpose – an important opportunity for consultation on the next stages of development at the site which is, in many ways, the reason for the existence of our Neighbourhood Plan. We greatly welcome this move and look forward to seeing the outline proposals.

New plan policies and a public meeting

Following the success of our January engagement meetings around the neighbourhood plan area, we have taken on board the many comments made by those who attended. As a result, we have now adopted some of the new policies that we mentioned in the last Update – including ones on light pollution, protection of trees and hedgerows, and adequacy of technical infrastructure. The latest full list of policies is now on our website. See the list here.

One of the messages we received at the meetings was a wish to have another opportunity for public discussion once the Plan has progressed further. We are therefore proposing to hold the bi-monthly meeting of the neighbourhood plan Forum in public on May 17th 2017, with most of the meeting given over to issues which visitors may wish to raise.
Please put the date in your diary – more details in the May Update.

Touring the neighbourhood

You may have been surprised one day last month to see an ominous looking black minibus (above) driving slowly around the neighbourhood. In it were members of the Neighbourhood Plan Forum who were showing consultants AECOM the lay of the land, and pointing out some of the key features, important views and so forth that we are keen to protect for the future. The minibus hire and the report itself are funded by Locality grant, and AECOM’s draft report will be with us in April. It will underpin several of our policies, including some of the new ones mentioned above.

Revised timescale

We’ve taken advice on the timing of the various stages we still have to go through to completion of the Neighbourhood Plan. As a result, here are some of the new milestones we are now working to:

  • Independent “health check” of the draft Plan documents by 3rd April
  • Publish pre-submission version of Plan; six-week public consultation period 30th April to 9th June
  • Submit further revised Plan to Cherwell DC 9th August
  • Statutory consultation by CDC to October
  • Independent Examination November
  • Referendum February 2018

Let us know what you think about any of the news mentioned here or any other aspect of the Neighbourhood Plan. Email us at