Sources claim Braintree Council could face legal costs in the region of £250,000 if it is dragged into a supermarket planning appeal.

Sainsbury's has confirmed it would appeal if planning permission is refused for the redevelopment of Broomhills Industrial Estate in Braintree, which would create 400 jobs.

A council spokesman said it would be "impossible and very misleading" to predict the costs of an appeal.

The planning committee was due to decide the Sainsbury’s application on Tuesday, but it was withdrawn from the agenda for the second time since March after Sainsbury’s disputed points made in a report by planning officers.