Charges at two currently free car parks in Cross Hills, one in Bentham and one in Gargrave were expected to be approved on Tuesday by Craven District Council's decision-making policy committee.
But following impassioned pleas from traders, parish, and ward councillors, the proposals have been sent back to the council's select committee, where they will receive further scrutiny.
Policy committee chairman and council leader, Cllr Chris Knowles-Fitton, said he felt uncomfortable about pressing ahead with charging - although the plans had been recommended for approval.
He wanted clarification on cost estimates to back the proposals, which had been questioned by Glusburn ward councillor Graham Beck, and he was unhappy that Glusburn and Cross Hills Parish Council had not been given time to discuss the plans.
In Cross Hills, charging was proposed in Hall Street and Milligans Field.
Parish councillor Phil Baker accused the council of getting its facts and figures wrong and of pushing the charging through in secret.
He added that a Craven officer had agreed to come out and talk to the parish council, but two days after the decision was to have been made.
Earlier, councillors had heard furious traders and parish councillors complain that it had only been a year since similar proposals had been discussed and thrown out because of the impact on hard-pressed businesses.