Residents fighting the controversial expansion of a car park in Gerrards Cross have backtracked on plans to take legal action against the district council over the development.

At the end of last year, the Gerrards Cross Parking Action Group set up a “fighting fund” to raise cash towards seeking legal advice over South Bucks District Council’s (SBDC) decision to proceed with the multi-storey car park development in Station Road.

However, the action group announced this week it has taken the “very difficult decision” to not push forward with plans to apply for a judicial review – which would have scrutinised SBDC’s decision to proceed with the development.

A statement released by action group members said that “despite having the grounds to proceed” they had to “weigh up the chances of success and costs involved” following advice from lawyers.

The group said: “Judicial review is a very rigorous and difficult legal procedure.

“Despite having grounds to proceed, the action group had to weigh up the chances of success, the costs involved and the personal liability of the Gerrards Cross resident making the claim for judicial review.

“Based on the evidence and the legal advice, the action group had to take the very difficult decision not to proceed with an application for judicial review.

“Unfortunately, the lack of probity in the council’s approval processes, the irrationality in their decision making and their inability to produce a justifiable business case are not considered strong grounds in law – provided that they have followed the mechanics of the approval process.

“The residents’ campaign is far from over and other lines of action are being pursued.

“This campaign has been a tremendous demonstration of the community pulling together and has exposed the shortcomings of SBDC in failing to consult properly on the parking needs of the town.”

Frustrated residents have raised numerous concerns over the controversial development, including the “flawed and unrealistic” business case put forward by SBDC.

They previously criticised the 40-year payback period on the £22 million loan the council plans to take out to fund the car park, as well as the Gerrards Cross police station development.

SBDC has also faced calls to carry out a “proper” public consultation into the development and provide other parking plans, rather than just the Station Road multi-storey.

However, a spokesman for SBDC said the council is “entirely satisfied” that the decision to push forward with the construction of the multi-storey car park “was taken lawfully and properly”.

Spokesman, Connie Primmer, said: “In responding to the letter before action the council strongly contested all the grounds for challenge put forward by the local resident and remain entirely satisfied that the decision to proceed with this project was taken lawfully and properly.

“Therefore, construction of the car park is due to commence as planned in January 2020.

“We will continue to follow due process as the project goes forward and take into consideration the views that have been expressed by residents and other interested parties during the planning process.

“We understand that not everyone is supportive of the car park but after extensive research and consideration we still believe it is the best option for a long-term solution to the increasing demand for car parking in Gerrard Cross, to ensure the future viability of the town centre for its businesses, residents and visitors.”