The Government may intervene in the controversial development of the Foxhill estate in Bath.
The communities secretary Sajid Javid has ordered Bath and North East Somerset Council not to make a final decision on the plans without his say so.
He may decide to take over responsibility for making the decision himself.
Councillors have already approved Curo’s outline plans to knock down up to 542 homes and build up to 700 new ones at Foxhill, but full planning permission has not yet been granted.
More than 250 objections were made to the plans. Some residents say they'll be forced out of their homes and that their community will be destroyed.
They argue that some won't be able to afford to live in the area or will have to move into something much smaller at Mulberry Park.
But housing association, Curo, has said its proposal for "much-needed regeneration" of Foxhill has the backing of many local residents.
A letter written on behalf of the communities secretary said:
“In exercise of his powers under Article 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, the Secretary of State hereby directs Bath and North East Somerset Council not to grant permission on this application without specific authorisation.
“This direction is issued to enable him to consider whether he should direct under Section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that the application should be referred to him for determination.”