More than 300 jobs at a research centre in Lowestoft may be lost unless a controversial business park is built.
A new laboratory will boost fish stock research in North Sea
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (Cefas) has been told to build a modern laboratory.
Plans were identified for the lab on a new business park, called Riverside, but this would mean removing several firms which currently trade there.
Nine businesses have challenged compulsory purchase orders and forced a public inquiry.
Cefas has said if it cannot move to the laboratory from its current base at nearby Pakefield it will have to move out of the town with its 320 staff.
It said it would move 80 jobs to the new lab from a station at Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex.
Brian Robinson, commercial director at Cefas which has been based in Lowestoft for more than a century, said the current lab had been identified as sub-standard.
Waveney District Council, which also wants to move to the £53m development, said if the project did not go ahead it would cost £685,000 of European funding.
It is hoped a public inquiry starting in April will decide the issues.