A plan to build a student hostel next to the railway line where 74 young souls would have had to have faced fast and noisy freight trains on one hand and hostile natives on the other side was decked by a planning committee in Oxford last night.
In a frankly very weird room called the Council Chamber, and decorated with the signs of the zodiac, seven councillors voted against the project while the chair abstained.
It was a victory for common sense although architect Adrian James and developing agent Nik Lyzba of John Phillips Planning Consortium (JPPC) looked gutted.
Several councillors on the committee quizzed James, Lyzba and Oxford planning man Murray Hancock (pictured, in gumboots) on the proposed building. The meeting was well attended by local residents who applauded, heckled and occasionally booed during the meeting.
The councillors found against the project on several grounds, including the overbearing height of the property after a site visit last week.
The developers have the right to appeal against the decision. Several residents spoke up against the plans and celebrated later at The Kite hostelry in Mill Street.
The height of the building-to-be was hotly disputed between residents and Hancock, and councillors repeatedly asked for clarification, with the waters ending up being more than a little muddied. ♦