THE Castle Hill hotel developers owe the taxpayer more than £26,000 in legal costs.
And this is on top of spiralling losses - thought to be more than £250,000.
The public purse was used to take the Thandi Partnership to court over its failure to demolish the half-built hotel by the January 11 deadline.
And now a local building expert has predicted that the Thandi Partnership will have already shelled out at least £250,000 on the ill-fated project.
The demolition work was finally completed in June, but only after legal proceedings had begun and more than six months late.
The Examiner can today reveal the figures after a request under the Freedom of Information Act to find the cost to the taxpayer.
Kirklees Council is demanding a total of £19,463.05, to meet the costs of preparations for the public inquiry which was supposed to be held last December, before the Thandis pulled out.
Another £6, 939.78 is being sought to cover the cost of the legal challenge.
Brothers Mick and Barry Thandi finally agreed to the council's requests to pull the shell of the building down in April, on the eve of a High Court battle.
The council tabled its demands last month and reports that it is still in negotiations with the Thandi Partnership.
The developers can appeal against the cost, which could result in another day in court.
Kirklees senior legal officer James Cook said the council would do everything in its power to recover the cash.
"The intention is to recover the full amount and we will do everything in our power to achieve that," he said.
"There is no specific time limit as to when the Thandis are expected to pay. We are in negotiations at the moment.
"The costs have been calculated based on a number of facts," added Mr Cook.
"We had two staff here at the legal department who spent a lot of time on this job. We also instructed a barrister."
Deputy council leader Clr John Smithson said he was pleased the partnership was being pursued.
"If we incur costs we always try and recover them," he said.
"If we didn't it would not be fair on the public.
We always said we would not back down and that is the case," added Clr Smithson.
The Examiner tried to contact the Thandi Partnership, but no-one was available for comment.