COUNCIL bosses are challenging a claim by a major local landowner for £251,000 in costs following a planning appeal.

Ryedale District Council turned down the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate’s proposals for a supermarket and other shops at the Malton Livestock Market site last year.

But a Government planning inspector later ruled the scheme should be allowed and said the authority should reconsider its controversial approval of plans to develop Wentworth Street car park.

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The council has agreed in principle to sell part of the car park for a possible supermarket scheme, which would be worth £5m.

Now, the Fitzwilliam Estate’s solicitors, Pinsent Masons, have lodged a claim against the authority for costs totalling £251,505 following its successful appeal against the original planning decision.

Of this sum, £131,726.94 relates to legal fees and £41,917.90 relates to VAT.

The estate’s appeal has already cost the council £10,325 in legal fees and £30,229 in other professional costs..