The Prime Minister is to rewrite planning rules by clamping down on developers who “just sit on land and watch its value rise” instead of building homes on it.
They could find it harder to get council planning permission as their past record on construction may count against them when they bid in the future, Theresa May will warn.
It is part of her proposals to get more properties built and “restore the dream of home ownership” to millions across the country amid a lack of supply.
Mrs May will stress she “cannot bring about the kind of society I want to see, unless we tackle one of the biggest barriers to social mobility we face today” – the lack of affordable housing.
The PM will say at a national planning conference in London: “I want to see planning permissions going to people who are actually going to build houses, not just sit on land and watch its value rise.”
Mrs May will claim some developers are discouraged from constructing houses after getting planning permission due to a “perverse incentive” for bosses’ bonuses, which are based on profits and share prices rather than how many properties they build.
She wants to break the “vicious circle” where most people can only get on the property with their parents’ help.
Mrs May will say: “If you’re not lucky enough to have such support, the door to home ownership is all too often locked and barred.”
And she will talk personally about how getting her first home with her husband Philip made it easier for her to play an active role in society.
It showed that providing more housing will allow more people to have a stake in their community and its future, she will argue.
Downing Street said the new rules will see about 80 of last year’s Housing White Paper proposals implemented to “make the system fairer and more effective by streamlining the process, cutting red tape and ending barriers to building”.
Mrs May will also announce a nationwide standard for how many homes councils need to plan for in their area, with affordable homes prioritised for “key workers” such as nurses, teachers and firefighters.
She will also commit to keep existing protections so authorities can only change green belt boundaries if they can prove they have explored every other reasonable option for building the homes their community needs.
Labour’s housing spokesman John Healey said: “The Prime Minister should be embarrassed to be fronting up these feeble measures first announced a year ago. After eight years of failure on housing it’s clear her Government has got no plan to fix the housing crisis.
“Since 2010, home-ownership has fallen to a 30-year low, rough sleeping has more than doubled, and deep cuts to housing investment have led to the lowest number of new social rented homes built since records began.”