Cheshire East Council is to carry out investigation work to see if the former gas works in Nantwich can become the site of a mixed-use development.
The two-acre site off St Anne's Lane, currently used as a car park and public footpath, will be closed to the public for a fortnight in April to allow investigation work on the land.
Nantwich Mayor and local ward member, Cllr Arthur Moran, said: "This brownfield land is one of the last prime development sites in the town centre.
"It is most likely that we will be looking to create a good-quality, mixed development that will enhance the waterfront area of the River Weaver. So it is vital that this investigation work is done, to ensure that the land is suitable for development."
The initial work will involve creating holes in various locations throughout the site. This needs to be done so that samples can be taken and the ground can be monitored.
In the 1980s, some structures were demolished and some remedial work to the land was carried out. The site investigation will identify whether anything further is required.
The majority of the holes will be refilled once work is finished. Some will need further monitoring and these will be identified clearly and secured.