LABOUR members on Hyndburn Council have accused the ruling Conservative group of being too frightened to make the controversial and potentially unpopular decision over whether to bulldoze houses in West Accrington.
The Lower Antley area is earmarked for regeneration under phase two of Project Phoenix.
The scheme, being run by Elevate, a body set up to regenerate parts of East Lancashire, will see houses in deprived areas knocked down and new ones built in their place.
At a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday, Conservative councillors decided to take the matter to August's full council meeting to allow West Accrington ward members to have their say on the proposals on behalf of residents.
But Labour councillors criticised another delay in making a decision on the plan, which was first proposed in 2005, because of the uncertainty and worry it has caused to home owners in the area.
Councillor David Myles said: "I shall not talk about whether these houses should be pulled down or not. There will be winners and losers on both sides.
"There are difficult decisions to be made and this council should be able to make those decisions.
"This is the second time it has come to Cabinet and twice it has been deferred. Because you feel frightened by this decision you are going to take it to full council."
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Myles added: "There should have been a decision one way or another 12 months ago.
"It's left people in limbo for so long now.
"People have been messed around.
"And if the decision isn't made quickly this council could lose out on substantial amounts of money from Elevate.''
But council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "We want to go to full council to allow a full debate on it so everyone can express a view.
"This is the only way to ensure a full debate.
"If we are taking a decision as important as this all people in the wards affected should have a real opportunity to take part.
"My inclination would be not to make a compulsory purchase order. I'm not sure it is what ward councilors would want and I don't think it's what people in the area necessarily want."