Council planning departments were condemned as a cross between the “last bastion of communism and sheer bloody mindedness” by a Government Minister.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said officials were all too often driven by a “you can’t build anything here” attitude.
Promising to reward entrepreneurs and instill enterprise into the planning system, Mr Pickles told a Birmingham Chamber of Commerce fringe event at the Conservative conference that local authorities would be encouraged to build more houses by being offered financial rewards.
He has already abolished the previous Government’s Regional Spatial Strategies, which required West Midlands councils to build more than 400,000 homes by 2026.
In its place, Mr Pickles said, he would allow councils to make their own decisions about how many homes to build and choose the best locations.
In an attempt to stimulate demand, the Government will allow councils to keep rate income from new houses for six years.
Councils giving planning permission for social housing will be given an extra 25p for each property as well as the rate income.
Mr Pickles pointed out that, in a climate of low or non-existent Whitehall grants, it would be a “very foolish council indeed” that felt able to ignore the opportunity of generating cash from house building.
Local authorities would be able to accumulate significant sums of money from the new system.
He added: “The problem at the moment is that no building is taking place. What I want to do is make building worthwhile.
“There has been no planning in this country for 40 years. We just have development control, not planning.
“It is predicated on conflict and the mighty winning.”