South Bucks District Council (SBDC) has been threatened with legal action amid concerns over the controversial extension of a Gerrard Cross car park, it has been revealed.

Last month SBDC announced the construction date of the Station Road multi-storey had been delayed from January 2019 to January 2020 “to avoid the current car park being closed over Christmas 2019”.

However a council report states SBDC was forced to delay plans as “residents indicate that a judicial review challenge is likely to be lodged.”

A judicial review would see a judge assess the lawfulness of SBDC’s decision to push forward with the multi-storey plans.

SBDC was advised to delay plans until the three-month window during which legal challenges can be lodged closes at the end of January – to avoid a £200k bill of “abortive costs”.

However if construction then started during 2019 the current car park would be closed during the Christmas period – which is strongly opposed by neighbouring Waitrose, according to the report.

The SBDC report states: “The aspiration was to construct the car park between January and December 2019.

“However, correspondence from local residents indicates that a judicial review challenge is likely to be lodged.

“It is therefore recommended that construction should not commence until the time limited judicial reviews periods have ended and/or any judicial review is concluded.

“As if a judicial review is lodged this would effectively delay the project and mean that £200k+ of abortive costs would be incurred, even if ultimately the judicial review was unsuccessful.”

The threat of a judicial review is another hurdle SBDC has been forced to overcome during the long planning process for the controversial car park.

It was announced last week that any plans to move forward with the development have been put on hold after councillors called for the plans to be scrutinised in more detail after raising numerous concerns over the development.

SBDC’s overview and scrutiny committee will meet on Thursday to decide whether to back the cabinet’s decision to push forward with plans, or refer the issue back to council chiefs for reconsideration.