The Government has begun the formal process of considering intervention into 15 local authorities that have failed to produce a local plan.
The councils affected are: Basildon, Brentwood, Bolsover, Calderdale, Castle Point, Eastleigh, Liverpool, Mansfield, North East Derbyshire, Northumberland, Runnymede, St Albans, Thanet, Wirral and York.
The Government said more than 70 local authorities were yet to produce a local plan but suggested that these 15 showed “particular cause for concern having missed deadlines and failed to make progress”.
The Department for Communities and Local Government said: “They will now have until 31 January 2018 to explain why they haven’t yet published a plan and provide any exceptional circumstances for why the Government shouldn’t intervene.
“The Communities Secretary would then consider these submissions before deciding whether to use the range of powers he has to direct specific actions on these local authorities. This could ultimately see government take over the process to produce a local plan in a certain area.”
In a speech in Bristol, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Whilst some councils are recognising their responsibilities and stepping up to meet the housing challenge, too many are still not acting. That’s why I’m stepping in now to make sure they act.”
He also revealed that this week Housing Minister Alok Sharma had signed the papers to allow housing associations to be reclassified as private sector bodies.
“Freed from the shackles of public sector bureaucracy, associations will be able to concentrate on their core, crucial mission – building homes,” Javid said.