Opponents of plans by the cement company, Holcim, to build a new factory near Oamaru say the decison to delay is a temporary reprieve.
The Waiareka Valley Preservation Society and hundreds of residents have been opposing the proposed $400 million plant in Weston since 2009.
Resident Bruce Albiston says the plant will cause irreparable damage to the agricultural environment and surrounding communities.
"The site is within less than two kilometres of a large primary school."
Mr Albiston says there are other sites better suited to industry and closer to some of the transport.
Another local resident, Graeme Sutherland, says health and environment concerns would outweigh the creation of about 120 permanent jobs.
He says many families will consider moving away if the plant is finally approved.
The company says it still hopes to get approval from its head office in Switzerland later this year or early next year.