A torrent of responses has caused a delay in a proposal for some 2,000 homes around Aldingbourne.
The possible large development was one of the centrepieces of Arun District Council’s draft local plan.
But the expected date for the next round of consultation about the land-use blueprint has been put back by several months to late spring next year.
The later period is the council’s reaction to the large number of 2,845 responses it received to its first round of consultation last summer.
Mike Turner, of the Villages Action Group, said: “It shows public opinion has been very strong on this matter and should mean the council thinks again.
“They have to take notice of this level of responses. I would say this offers us some fresh hope.”
Announcing the delay on Tuesday, Arun cabinet member for planning Cllr Ricky Bower said: “I want to reassure people we are now looking at all of the comments that have been made.
“All of them will be considered as revisions are made to the plan.
“Every decision within the local plan has been supported by robust evidence, and we are working with a variety of agencies and other partners to gather that evidence.”
The delay means Arun’s state of the district debate on December 5, which was due to consider the plan, has been put back to a new date yet to be decided.