AN ATTEMPT to take a council's housing plans to court has been quashed again, with the campaigners and residents who made it now liable to pay nearly £10,000.

South Oxfordshire residents had clubbed together to fund an effort to take their district council's Local Plan to judicial review.

Earlier this month their attempt to challenge the housing plan was refused by Justice Ian Dove.

And yesterday (April 29) their attempt to appeal this decision was also refused by another judge, Justice Lang.

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The residents, who had started a campaign group called Bioabundance to make the challenge, had attempted to appeal for a judicial review on several grounds.

These were that councillors had been under undue pressure from the Government to adopt the plan because of 'threat to usurp the council's function and possibly remove planning powers from SODC' and also that there were too many homes included in the plan to meet with requirements of climate change law.

Speaking on behalf of Bioabundance, Jenny Wigley QC said there had been a 'general tenor of pressure' on the council to adopt the plan from the Government, including 'threats' to take away financial aid like the Housing Infrastructure Fund money for Didcot's roads.

These, she said, were immaterial concerns which should not have been on councillors' minds when they made the decision on whether or not to approve the Local Plan.

But James Goudie QC, speaking for South Oxfordshire District Council, argued that this pressure was a relevant concern.

He said: "If the floodwaters are rising and my decision is to put down the sandbags, then I might feel I have no decision but to do so, but it is still my decision."

EXPLAINED: Why people want a judicial review of South Oxfordshire's Local Plan

Justice Lang ruled that there were no grounds to argue for a judicial review.

Bioabundance was ordered to pay the legal costs of SODC totally £8,265.69, as well as the legal costs of the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, totalling £1,734.

The South Oxfordshire Local Plan allocates land where 30,000 homes can be built in the district.

16,000 of these have either already been built or are in the pipeline.