Plans for the conversion of a former factory into flats could be in jeopardy after part of the building was listed by English Heritage.
Work on Leicester Square, off Vaughan Way in Leicester was already under way when the 100-year old chimney was given protected status.
The £25m development by Metropolitan Housing would see the construction of more than 300 flats.
The property developer was said to be shocked by the interest in the site.
David Hill, development director said: "We were all steaming ahead and we'd stripped out the insides.
"No-one had given us any warning. We'd probably already destroyed half of what they wanted to keep.
"We were taking the roof off at the time he (English Heritage representative) appeared and asked us to stop because they quite liked it"