Sutton Coldfield residents opposed to a huge residential development near the town centre - which is being backed by CBI director-general Sir Digby Jones - yesterday made their final protest.
Members of campaign group GUARD turned out at a visit by Birmingham's planning committee to the proposed site of the development in Brassington Avenue.
Developer Cala Homes has put in a planning application for 299 flats, four shops, two restaurants and a fitness centre on an area of private land between the railway line in the town and the Gracechurch Shopping Centre.
Colin Edge, the campaign spokesman, said the planning officers' report presented to the committee a week ago, seemed to put too much emphasis on support for the scheme from Sir Digby.
He had written to the planning committee saying the scheme represented a £50 million investment into the town and refusing it would send out the message that Sutton was against development.
Jerry Blackett, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce's policy director, last night added his backing, calling it a "positive contribution" to Sutton.
"Most of the letters the council have had are objecting to the scheme," said Mr Edge. "We collected 1,000 signatures in a petition against it. But Sir Digby wrote in at the 11th hour and planners seemed to give a lot of weight to that letter, reading it out almost verbatim in their report.
"This money doesn't represent investment because it is not money going into the town. It is purely on this block of flats.
"We are not opposed to development but we want it to take into account the needs of the town centre, not something more appropriate for a city like Birmingham or Manchester," he added.
Yesterday campaigners climbed to the top of an adjacent multi-storey car park to demonstrate how the 11-storey development would dwarf the existing shopping centre.
The company already has permission to build 255 flats on the land, which was granted two years ago when development company Hawstone bought the site. The council is now due to make a decision about the planning application on March 10.
Alan Brown, managing director of Cala Homes Midlands, said: "We are disappointed that the planning application has been deferred. However, this is a major project for Sutton Coldfield and it is right that committee members see the site for themselves."