Councillors have agreed to look again at plans to build up to 20,000 new homes in Basildon over the next decade.
The decision was made at an emergency council meeting on Thursday night.
The draft local plan was agreed in March after a series of angry public exchanges between councillors and residents, but the emergency meeting backed a Conservative call to reconsider several controversial sites.
Councillors will now look again at proposals for 300 new homes near Billericay and an increased number of traveller pitches on existing sites rather than building new ones.
A council meeting earlier in May saw 750 residents at Basildon Sporting Village attend a debate in which Conservative councillors accused the Labour/UKIP administration of not listening to local people.
The Labour, UKIP and Independent groups accused the Conservatives of using delaying tactics to stop the local plan going through.