BATTLE lines have been drawn as Cotswold District Council prepares to lock horns with government over a controversial decision to grant planning permission for almost 300 homes in Tetbury.

Last week the Standard reported CDC had been seeking opinion from Tetbury Town Council regarding whether it should continue with its judicial review against the decision by the Secretary for Communities and Local Government to grant permission for 250 homes on Highfield Farm and 39 off Berrells Road.

However, although the challenge has been said to have only a 50 per cent chance of success at best and could cost up to £120,000 if it fails, on Tuesday CDC cabinet member for forward planning Cllr Nick Parsons (Con, Ermin) said the authority had no plans to abandon it.

"There have been a number of rumours that the council was considering pulling out of the legal challenge," he said. "This is not so."

He said the council’s Conservative-run cabinet would be considering allocating funding to the challenge at next Thursday’s meeting, but that the item would be discussed in a closed session with the public and press excluded from the chamber to avoid publicly revealing details of the council’s legal advice.

Although CDC’s planning committee had rejected the plans for the two sites, these decisions was overruled following a planning appeal in February, prompting the authority to seek a judicial review the next month.

Tetbury mayor Liz Farnham welcomed the announcement.

"We are pleased with Cllr Parsons setting the record straight that they are pursuing the legal challenge but understand that he will have to go to the cabinet to allocate the funding," she said.

The hearing will be held in Birmingham at a date to be confirmed, although Cllr Parsons said it was not likely to be until September or October.