A fresh hearing may be held into Heritage Homes' plans for a new housing development in Kirk Michael, by a new planning Inspector.
The move comes after the previous inspector David Hollis, who was part-way through hearing the application, became ill.
He now cannot finish the case and is to retire.
But he's promised to give a crucial ruling on whether the current application is to all intents the same as the previous one, rejected last December.
Despite the decision to retire, Mr Hollis will complete his report on whether last year's application to build 101 homes at Douglas Road Corner and the current one for 95 homes at the same location, are substantially similar.
If they are, the Council of Ministers may cancel a hearing into the new application.
If not a fresh hearing will begin, and rather than wait, a new inspector's to be appointed and dates set aside, to avoid another delay if the application is eventually heard.
The planning appeals office says this in no way pre-empts CoMin's decision one way or the other.
Heritage Homes wants to build on land behind Kirk Michael School including its current playing field.
The scheme includes a new school field and playground.
Around 100 people have objected to the proposals , including local MHK Alf Cannan.