A council has agreed to buy a plot of land and sell it to a developer to thwart its owners raising the price.
Middlesbrough Council has first refusal on land at Middlehaven which is earmarked for a new snow centre.
It said owner Homes England (HE) would be likely to renegotiate the price agreed with Cook Runnings NE if an April deadline for a deal was not met.
HE, a government housing body, said it was in confidential "commercial negotiations" with the authority.
"If we are able to agree a sale, it will enable Middlesbrough Council to be in full ownership of the whole site and deal directly with Cool Runnings NE regarding its future," a spokesperson said.
'Need to act'
The council has agreed to subsequently sell the land to the developer at no extra cost, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
Deputy mayor and executive member for city strategy Charlie Rooney said the decision to buy the land had to be agreed urgently because of the April deadline.
"In order to secure the land for that development, or any future development, we need to act now," he said.
If the development is not started within 10 months or does not go ahead the council could keep the land, he said.
In such an eventuality it might be able to sell it at a profit, he said.