Hammerson could be forced back to the drawing board over its plans for the £500m Bishop’s Place scheme after Hackney Council officials recommended that the Light Bar – which is based on the site – be included in a conservation area.

If the conservation order is passed, it would be considerably more difficult to demolish the bar in line with Hammerson’s plans for the site and Hammerson may have to alter its plans for the 4m sq ft scheme.

Hammerson and Light Bar owner James Goff reached an agreement before Christmas on the future of the bar, but the problem could return if the council’s cabinet vote with the recommendation on 26 January. There has been considerable lobbying by celebrities including Tracey Emin to save the bar.

Goff argued that Hammerson’s plans could include the Light Bar whereas Hammerson said keeping the bar would affect the scheme’s design. In the pre-Christmas agreement, an out of court settlement, it was agreed the bar would remain while the parties discussed an alternative location for it.