AN OXFORDSHIRE council faces a bill of about £225,000 after a planning inspector found it had 'behaved unreasonably' over a 150-home estate.

South Oxfordshire District Council's officers recommended the development, east of Benson Lane in Crowmarsh Gifford was approved, but councillors threw it out in April 2017.

Developers Bloor Homes and Hallam Land Management then submitted an appeal in September 2017.

The council took legal advice on whether to challenge that appeal but decided it would not want to spend money when there was 'very little chance of success'.

SODC pulled out out of the appeal about 10 days before key documents had to be submitted. Planning inspector Helen Hockenhull said that was 'unreasonable behaviour' and the council must pay Bloor Homes' and Hallam's full costs.

She wrote: "The council now accepts that planning permission should have been granted. In refusing the original planning application, the council was preventing a development that should clearly have been permitted."

An SODC spokesman said: “We are extremely disappointed that the planning inspector has ordered the council to pay full costs.

"Developers have indicated they will be seeking approximately £225,000 in costs – we will be within our rights to challenge and negotiate the costs and we are now waiting to see the breakdown from the developers.”