Developer Urban Splash is locked in a battle with Bradford council over the design of luxury flats at its Lister's Mill development in Manningham.
Once the world's largest silk mill, the building is being converted into apartments. The council is worried that David Morley Architects' design for the second phase of the scheme, is too radical and overpowering on the skyline.
If the flats are not given the go-ahead, or are scaled back, it would affect the financial viability of the scheme.
A source in the planning department at Bradford council said: "It looks like spun yarn.
We're not afraid of modern architecture in Bradford but it would be a very distinctive feature on the cityscape and would dominate a large area of the skyline. You'd be able to see it all the way across the city."
He added: "The mill is a grade II*-listed building so we're currently in discussions with English Heritage. They could ask John Prescott to call in the scheme if they thought it necessary."
The scheme is expected to be submitted for planning in the next few weeks.
Urban Splash has also been appointed developer on a regeneration scheme in Watchet, west Somerset, again working with David Morley.
The 0.8 ha mixed-use scheme will redevelop the East Wharf site to include marina accommodation, retail and commercial units.
The scheme is the latest in a series of wins for Urban Splash in the South-west, where it set up an office a year ago.