Protesters fighting to save an Oxfordshire beauty spot say they have still not given up hope, despite a major setback to their campaign.

Save Radley Lakes campaigners say their fight will go on, even though an application for Town or Village Green status to preserve Thrupp Lake from being used as a dump for spent fuel ash from Didcot power station was rejected.

The action group has called in barrister George Laurence - a leading expert on Town Green law - to review inspector Vivian Chapman's recommendation following a public inquiry earlier this year that the application should be rejected.

Mr Laurence's view is that Mr Chapman's report is "unsound" and needs further consideration.

The issue was due to have been discussed this week by Oxfordshire County Council's planning and regulation committee - but has been deferred until January so officers can take another look at Mr Chapman's report.

Save Radley Lakes member Jo Cartmell from Abingdon, who applied for Town Green status, said: "I am delighted to learn that the possibility still exists to save the lakes as a Town Green.

"They have been used as such by the people for a very long time and we thought after the public inquiry that had been made clear.

"The point of law that the public inquiry inspector used to reject the application was very difficult to understand, so we welcome the possibility that the whole issue is to be re-examined.

"The final decision is very much one to be settled between lawyers so we can only hope that it will be possible to save the lakes for the public and their descendants to enjoy in the future."

RWE npower, which owns Thrupp Lake, says it needs to use it to dispose of spent fuel ash from Didcot power station until the coal-fired station closes in 2015. The public inquiry has forced the company to put back its timetable in preparation for draining the lake.