Partial costs have been awarded against Northumberland County Council in the Bellway appeal.
Costs may be awarded where a party is judged to have behaved unreasonably, causing another party to incur unnecessary expenditure.
Planning Inspector Philip Major said he failed to see how the council could have acted more reasonably over the re-running of the first appeal for 200 homes at Loansdean and could not award costs.
However, he said the second appeal case was more finely balanced.
The council was ordered to pay costs incurred by Bellway for contesting two of the reasons for refusal in the second appeal.