A total of £780,000 has been spent on plans for a controversial car park, previously described by residents as resembling a “cheese grater”, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

Original plans for a 450-space car park in Station Road, Gerrards Cross, by South Bucks District Council (SBDC) were thrown out last year after being met with criticism from furious residents, and SBDC’s cabinet agreed to spend £90,000 on fresh plans for the car park earlier this year.

Figures from the council’s website, part of an FoI request made by a resident who did not want to be named, show the spend so far on the car park totalling £780,000.

According to the figures, £13,000 was spent in 2015/16, £633,000 in 2016/17 and draft 2017/18 accounts show a further spend of £134,000.

The amount has been branded “disgraceful” by the resident, who said the money would be better spent by donating it to the county council to fix Bucks' deteriorating roads.

He said: “The decision to go ahead with this was done without any consultation with the residents.

“To spend that amount of money without talking to the local population first I think is disgraceful.

“The revised plan has got some fairly cosmetic changes to the front of the building but hasn’t changed the number of parking spaces so the load on the local roads isn’t going to change. It’s a complete stitch up.

“It is an unbelievable amount of money to spend on a very speculative adventure.”

The plans, which have been submitted to SBDC, propose to extend the existing car park to a further 4.5 floors, providing an additional 328 parking spaces.

Also included in the design is a lift, fast electric car charging points, secure points for motorbikes, bicycle racks, disabled spaces and trolley bays.

South Bucks district Cllr Luisa Sullivan said the costs so far cover the pre-contract work and fees needed to prepare the planning application, including payment of architects to design the building and other fees for advice on elements such as pre-planning, highways, traffic and ground surveys.

It also includes other costs such as legal fees and planning application fees.

Cllr Sullivan said: “We believe this new development offers a long-term solution to the increasing demand for car parking in Gerrards Cross, which needs to be met in order to ensure the long term viability of the town centre and its businesses in the bests interests of local residents and other visitors.

“Changes made to the plans following feedback from the public during the previous planning application process have added cost to the submission, but we believe it is worth the investment to ensure we provide the best possible car park for Gerrards Cross.”