Villagers have their say on plans to create two new parishes

By Sarah Edwards at

Villagers are being invited to have their say on plans to separate Upper Heyford Parish into two new parishes.
Cherwell District Council has been delivering a consultation letter to all 1,000 properties in the Upper Heyford parish notifying people of the review, and representatives from Cherwell will also attend the Upper Heyford Residents’ Association meeting this Wednesday (25 January) and the Upper Heyford Parish Council meeting on 9 February.
The proposals have been put forward by Upper Heyford Parish Council in response to the development of the former RAF Upper Heyford site, which has been identified to accommodate up to 1,600 new homes by 2031 in accordance with Cherwell’s adopted Local Plan.
Sue Smith, Chief Executive of Cherwell, said: “The proposed development of RAF Upper Heyford will dramatically increase the population of the existing village. The proposals put forward by the parish council are to separate the current parish into two parishes that can better reflect and address the needs of the different communities.
“At the moment we are seeking views on the options that should be consulted on in the forthcoming consultation. As parish councils have responsibility for local decisions, including their council tax precept, we want to ensure villagers are involved every step of the way. We would encourage all residents to read the letter and submit their feedback by the March deadline to ensure their views are heard and are reflected in the options we will then consult on.”
Cherwell has held initial discussions Upper Heyford Parish Council, which has suggested the new boundary could be along the length of the Kirtlington Road/ Portway bridleway.
Discussions are also taking place with Somerton Parish Council and Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council regarding the proposed boundary changes, as these parishes would share boundaries with a new parish and would be affected.
Once the initial consultation is closed, district councillors will consider recommendations at a meeting in May and there will then be a second consultation where views on the options and proposals will be sought.
Parish councils represent the local community by providing responses to planning or licensing consultations and deliver services to meet the needs of the local communities such as allotments, bus shelters and village halls.
They also set and receive a council tax precept which helps fund the cost of service provision, though parish councillors themselves are unpaid.
The closing date for responses is 11.59pm on Friday, 17 March. For more information or to take part in the consultation visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/communitygovernance or email democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk