Plans to build 4,000 homes in West Norfolk are at a standstill until a relief road is built.
Years of consultation have gone into plans for a new town between West Winch and the Hardwick roundabout, south of King's Lynn.
West Norfolk Borough Council is now considering paying for the road and reclaiming the money from developers to ensure the scheme goes ahead.
But the council has been criticised for not having planning foresight.
Paul Foster, chairman of West Winch Parish Council, said it should never have come to this.
"The plans were clear - no road, no development," he said.
"It's just sunk in to the minds of the borough council that without the new road the development would not go ahead.
"They should have planned for the road before allocating the land. We find it strange that they've put the cart before the horse."
The plan is for 4,000 new homes, but the idea of the new town is still causing concern among residents of West Winch.
In a BBC Radio Norfolk straw poll some residents expressed concern that the large number of new homes would cause traffic chaos while others said more housing was needed.
Some respondents said they did not believe the town would ever be built in their lifetime.