The government has ordered plans to redevelop the former garden festival site in Liverpool to public inquiry.
The festival hall, built for the 1984 event, has now been pulled down
Outline planning permission for the Otterspool site was granted to developers in May by the city council.
The proposal would see more than 1,300 homes and preserve 56 acres of the Japanese and Chinese gardens.
Liverpool Council said that given the importance and scale of the project it was not surprising the Government wanted further scrutiny.
Some local residents are against plans as they feel the area should be public parkland and are worried about the construction of more apartments.
After Liverpool Council granted planning permission the decision was passed to the Department of Communities and Local Government for consideration.
A public inquiry means the proposed park will not now be ready for Capital of Culture in 2008.