English Heritage has thrown its weight behind calls for the last remaining part of the Robin Hood Hotel to be saved from demolition.
In a letter to Newark and Sherwood District Council, English Heritage says it does not believe there is clear evidence to suggest demolition of the cottages, on Lombard Street, should take place.
The body has a statutory role in the planning system, offering advice before and during applications affecting buildings and areas of historical significance.
The letter said: "We accordingly object to the application for consent and recommend refusal.
"Newark is one of England's most important and best preserved market towns.
"The Robin Hood Hotel is listed Grade II as a building of special architectural and historical interest and character.
"The loss of any listed building requires clear and convincing justification supported with robust evidence.
"Without it, we are of the firm view that the application should be rejected as it does not satisfy certain planning requirements."
The developer of the Potterdyke site, M.F Strawson, says retention of the buildings is no longer financially viable because of their dilapidated state.
It says the cost of repair would be £750,000.
The developers have plans lodged to replace the historic cottages with five retail units.