A government decision on the controversial King Alfred development has been delayed indefinitely.
Brighton and Hove City Council gave the £290 million Frank Gehry development the go-ahead last month, but Ruth Kelly, Secretary of
State for Communities and Local Government, must also approve the plans.
An announcement was expected on Monday but the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) has said that Ms Kelly needs more time to consider the proposal.
The GOSE acknowledged receipt of information from the council on April 3 and was expected to take 21 days to respond.
But the Government office has issued an Article 14 notice, saying a final decision will take longer than expected.
Formal planning permission cannot be granted without Ms Kelly's approval.
City council environment director Jenny Rowlands said: "The letter is a formality issued when more time is needed.
"It confirms what everyone knows - that permission cannot be issued without Ms Kelly's approval. Nothing can be read into it.
"Our planning committee voted for the scheme on March 23 subject to the agreement of the Secretary of State.
"We just have to be patient and wait for that."
In another development, minutes of the King Alfred planning meeting will not now be published until after the election.