Solihull Borough Council has spent £78,000 in legal fees battling a group of gypsies who set up camp on greenbelt land at Meriden.
The council revealed it had spent £35,000 securing an injunction through the High Court last month against the travellers who moved into Eaves Green Lane, Meriden.
This saw the gypsies, led by Noah Burton, given leave to remain on the site for another year.
The remaining amount of the cash was spent on a planning enquiry, a planning appeal and other legal matters since the camp was set up nearly two years ago.
A council spokesman said: “In total to date we have spent £78,000 on legal fees since travellers moved on to the land off Eaves Green Lane in Meriden.
“Of this, around £35,000 has been spent on securing the injunction, and includes solicitors’ and barristers’ fees.
“The remaining amount covers the other aspects of the case, including the planning enquiry and the planning appeal.
David McGrath, leader of a local protest group called Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID), warned that the true cost of the gypsies occupying the land could be much higher.
He said: “It’s a huge amount but I actually think it’s an underestimation of the real cost. When you consider that this has tied up a number of planning and enforcement officers on virtually a full-time basis for two years.
"They’ve had to investigate complaints of breaching the enforcement order and attempting to monitor the site, it means that they have not been able to carry out other work in the area.”
Mr McGrath revealed that RAID members had spent £70,000 of their own money on their fight to claim back the land, collected through their own fund raising efforts.
He said: “RAID have raised and spent more than £70,000 on planning and legal representation because we were able to produce a level of local detail which the council would never have been able to gather.
“For example local accident statistics, impact on wildlife, breaches of the injunction on the land etc.
“Also it’s highly likely that the travellers will lodge in further appeals funded through the tax payer, so it’s not over.”
RAID, who set up a 24-hour, year-round vigil to monitor the activities of the gypsies, will learn when they must leave their site within a week.
“We must leave by April 29 but we want parity with the travellers and want to stay another year. We go when they go.”