THE Government has threatened to “intervene” and take control over the future of house building in Basildon and Castle Point after slamming both councils for “persistent failures” to create local plans. 

Both councils currently have no plan in place which could leave them “vulnerable to speculative developments”.

Local plans pinpoint where new homes can be built.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove wrote to the leaders of both councils slamming their failure to adopt a plan and threatening to intervene. 

Intervention could see the Government decide which sites will be built on and how many homes are built based upon previous draft local plans. 

Andrew Baggott, Tory leader of Basildon Council, says he was “not surprised” to receive a letter, which he described as “snarky”.

He said: “The Government needs to demonstrate to the public that it is building houses, but this comes across as posturing.

“We’ve written to them at each step of the way. There are statutory deadlines which we have to work to, and we are on target with those.”

“The letter could have been a bit more collegiate. But we’ll take it on the chin and do what’s right for residents. If Mr Gove wants to send his rubber-faced letter to us, he can.”

Due to Basildon’s “poor plan progress” it was one of 15 authorities considered for formal government intervention in 2017.

Mr Gove says the delay has left communities “vulnerable to speculative development” and risks “not delivering the economic growth and infrastructure they need”.

Plans were last adopted in Castle Point and Basildon in 1998, and each council withdrew draft plans last year. 

Mr Gove set a 12-week deadline for the councils to revise their schemes, or the government may intervene.

Castle Point Council acknowledged it did not have an up-to-date local plan.

A spokesman said: “The council is working on a new plan, which will be submitted before the government’s June 2025 deadline. 

“The council will work with government officials to respond by January 12 to address the concerns raised.”