Opposition to the creation of two traveller sites in Crawley led to nearly 1,000 people attending a rowdy public meeting in the town.
Nearly 1,000 people attended the meeting, many to oppose the plans
The meeting, moved to a theatre because of large numbers expected, filled the auditorium and spilled into the foyer.
The council executive had voted for the sites but Conservative member Richard Burrett demanded the extraordinary full council meeting on Wednesday.
Plans were rejected at the meeting and go back to the full council next week.
Crawley Borough Council is considering plans for a residential site at the gas holder in the north east of the town.
A transit site is being proposed for Rowley Farm, off James Watt Way.
After the meeting, Keith Greenleaves, from the Pound Hill North Residents Association, said: "It has vindicated the effort we have put in over the past three months particularly over the gas holder site because the sites are not suitable."
And resident Stuart Francis said: "It has given us a little bit of hope but Crawley have reversed the situation before."