OXFORD City Council is unlikely to buy Warneford Meadow in Headington from the Department of Health (DoH) because of the “excessive” asking price.

The land was given town green status in 2009, which prevented Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Trust from selling it for development.

The DoH announced it would sell the meadow last year, and later revealed it had been offered to both the city council and county councils.

Oxfordshire County Council said it had declined the offer but the city council said it had asked for more information before deciding. This week city council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “The asking price was excessive.

“But we have not closed the door and have said that we are prepared to talk with the vendor further in the event that they are unable to achieve a sale on the open market.”

The 20-acre meadow sits behind Warneford Hospital and was used as a therapeutic open space.

DoH spokesman Ros Selby said: “Local interest groups will now have the opportunity to express an interest in bidding for the Meadow.”

She would not reveal how much the meadow was on sale for.