One resident's failed attempt to block regeneration plans for New Addington's Central Parade cost the council £271,056 in legal fees, it has been revealed.
Michael Fuller, 74, of Overbury Crescent, lodged two applications for village green status to be awarded to the street and requested a judicial review when Croydon Council refused it.
The legal fees were run up considering the applications, during a public inquiry and during the judicial review.
The application, which would have meant a paved area including three cars parks could not be built on, also delayed plans for a supermarket and a new leisure centre by two years.
Coun Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning and regeneration, described the legal costs as "a disgrace".
He added: "Over a quarter of a million pounds was wasted by an attempt to obstruct plans to improve the lives of people in New Addington."