And so, once again, we return to that perennial nightmare for all district councillors involved in planning: how to tackle Cherwell’s soaring housing needs, while retaining some semblance of the landscape its residents know and love.

Today, a decision will be reached on creating 46 homes on a patch of green land off Skimmingdish Lane.

Campaigners say this hotly-contested spot provides not only a haven for wildlife, including badgers, but a convenient place for those already there to walk their dogs and get some peace and quiet.

But the Cherwell district needs more homes. To be exact, 22,800 more homes by 2031 than it had in 2011.

And with such a demand, developers are looking at any plot of land that might help tackle that target figure.

With each fresh application for a block of flats or collection of family houses, the debate rages as to how much greenery should be sacrificed in exchange.

All sorts of factors, from the impact on biodiversity to current residents’ sense of privacy and comfort, come into play every time a new development is considered by the planning authority.

There is also the question of whether the local area can provide for hundreds of new inhabitants; in the case of Skimmingdish Lane, the catchment area’s primary school, Glory Farm, is apparently oversubscribed already.

Then there are the extra cars of the new households and demands for services, such as doctors and dentists.

For the campaigners, Oxfordshire Badger Group’s Julia Hammett summed up the feeling when asking how Bicester could claim to be a “green eco-town” while allowing the destruction of wildlife habitats at a rate of knots.

For the numerous potential first-time buyers, any new development is a glimmer of hope that they will be able to find somewhere to live.

Spare a thought for Cherwell councillors, then, when they have to consider all of this at today’s planning meeting.