COUNCIL bosses have been ordered to publish details of their dealings over a controversial multi-million pound development.

The freedom of information watchdog has said Winchester City Council failed to meet the public interest when it withheld financial data on the Silver Hill scheme. Details to be released, including developer TH Real Estate’s overall costs and profit, relate to the 2014 scheme which has been defeated in the courts – swapping a bus station and cut-price flats for more retail.

Cllr Kim Gottlieb, leader of the anti-Silver Hill Winchester Deserves Better campaign, said the information could give ammunition to another legal challenge against the council but could equally leave campaigners “underwhelmed”.

It comes after a Freedom of Information request made by campaign supporter Judith Martin in December, while the 2014 plans were still alive.

The Information Commissioner found that the “majority of this information” is rightly confidential but some must be disclosed in the public interest.

Figures to be released include the net development value and developer TH Real Estate’s profit forecast as well as market values of flats in the scheme, broad construction costs and car parking details.

Council leader Cllr Stephen Godfrey said he hoped “greater clarity” on the rules would set a precedent for transparency over the 2009 scheme.

He said: “It has been a for local planning authorities for some years about what information should be disclosed publicly and to the planning committee about the viability assessments. The information the commissioner has made gives some clarity to that.”

The council has been ordered to publish the information by Tuesday, October 22.