Fears that a historic Victorian home could be harmed by its conversion into a "world-class" student accommodation block have halted its progress through the planning process.
Birmingham's planning committee seemed set to approve the conversion of the historic Beechenhurst House, in leafy Serpentine Road, Selly Park.
But residents warned the conversion and extension of the former home of renowned social reformer John Sutton Nettlefold and his wife Margaret could harm a piece of Birmingham's history.
So the city's expert conservation and heritage panel will be asked to look at the planning application next month before it returns to committee for final approval.
The residents had complained the students would swamp the quiet road, which is dominated by detached family houses, and lead to a clash of lifestyles.
Resident Stuart Buchanan said: "This is a quiet residential road with 20 family homes - 60 people will more than double the population."
He added that the area did not need any more student accommodation.
The wider Selly Oak area has been inundated with student developments, prompting complaints from residents and community leaders.
Now, residents are warning that Selly Park could be targeted by more developers.
But Alan Tyler, speaking on behalf of developer Five Oaks Green, said this would be a high-quality student complex, comparable with a boutique hotel, and unlike anything else available in the city.
"The best in Birmingham right now is very average. This will be a first-class site for a first-class city," he said.
Planning committee members asked why the Victorian home had not been listed but were told conservationists and English Heritage had looked at it and not thought it worth listing.
Coun Gareth Moore (Con Erdington) said: "I don't see why there needs to be any extension of the home. This is ruining the character of a conservation area."
Others decided this was a unique type of student block and would be a benefit to the city.
It was decided to defer the applicaton and consult the conservation panel.