Planning experts have predicted Castle Point Council is unlikely to face sanctions for taking too long to deliver its local plan.

Last In March last year Castle Point was warned it would face intervention for failing to finalise its plan for 4,000 new homes in the borough.

Despite councillors rejecting the latest version of the plan in November over the numbers of homes proposed for Canvey, it seems the council will not have the plan taken out of its hands.

The decision meant the council missed a deadline agreed with Government to hold a public consultation on the plan, leading some to believe the Government would follow through with its threat.

However, Planning, a website for planning officials, has published its view that the council is now unlikely to face Whitehall intervention.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said “an announcement will be made in due course” but any negotiations with the council will take place behind closed doors, according to Planning.

The council’s webpage on the local plan has no update since last November’s meeting saying the council is “in discussions” over the next steps.

John Anderson, Independent councillor for Canvey Central, said he believed the local plan will be discussed again by councillors next month.

He said: “I think it’s going to be brought forward to the chamber in October. I have heard the Government is unlikely to intervene now and discussions have been going on but as yet there is no update.

“I think the council has accepted the national inspector’s opinions and that will be discussed in the chamber or in a special meeting. They will discuss how it will pan out and how many houses will be on the mainland and on Canvey. I think talks have been going on between chief executive David Marchant and the Government inspector, but that all has to be announced to councillors.

“I’m guessing it will be not too far off what was proposed but some of the green belt areas we knocked off before may possibly be included again. Castle Point will have to meet its housing needs.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We are liaising with the department and continuing to develop a pre-submission plan. We are trying to get ourselves in shape to move forward.”