Plans for a new 3,000 home development, which has been in the pipeline for more than 14 years, will be held up while a public enquiry takes place to determine if a piece of land, crucial for the scheme, can be bought by a council.
Wellingborough Council agreed earlier this year to use its powers of compulsory purchase to acquire land needed for the Stanton Cross development to go ahead.
The area of land which is affected runs along the far side of the railway line near Wellingborough train station and the Leyland trading estate.
The local authority agreed to act after negotiations between the developer Bovis Homes and landowner Wellmere Developments Ltd stalled.
But after Wellmere Developments objected to the compulsory purchase order being approved, a public enquiry must now be held.
The hearing is scheduled to take place at The Hind Hotel, Sheep Street, Wellingborough, on December 4.
Cllr Paul Bell, leader of Wellingborough Council, said: “This piece of land is needed to open up the whole of the Stanton Cross development and we’re nearly at the end of a long process to acquire it.
“The public enquiry for the compulsory purchase order will be held on December 4.
“There is only one objector and our legal advisors are confident the result of the enquiry will be favourable.
“If it does go in our favour, the inspector will notify the Secretary of State and we should know by next March whether or not we can buy the land.
“As soon as we get the land we will immediately sell it to the developer and work can begin.
“Everything else is ready to go with this development – the developer is underwriting the cost of the compulsory purchase process, planning permissions are in place, Northamptonshire County Council has approved the bridge over the railway line – we just need this piece of land to open it all up.
“We are hopeful we will finally see work start on Stanton Cross in April next year.”
The planned development would cover a huge area to the east of the town, stretching from behind the railway station to neighbour the A45, Finedon and Irthlingborough.