Oxford University's new postgrad accommodation looms with a grim obstinacy along the railway side of the meadow. Local residents and Oxford-wide meadow-lovers are quite unhappy at the impact on the views - Port Meadow has always been a quick fix of wilderness for nature lovers and the city just jumped a hell of a lot closer. Both Oxford University and Oxford City Council claim that "no objections" were received in the consultation process; sad if true - especially if it could have affected the result.
Those of us who remember the Waterside development scandal of the early 90s will recognise this as the thick end of the planning wedge.
To me it seems that the key problem is the difficulty of engaging the public before it's too late. Clearly residents care about this issue: clearly councillors made an effort to alert people to the prospect. Where exactly is the consultation process going wrong?