New build developments are being held up by logjammed planning departments with many delayed for up to two years.
Official Government figures show four out of five big housing schemes are taking as long as 24 months to get an answer from local councils.
Staff shortages in planning departments mean over-worked officers are failing to hit their own targets for approval decisions, The Times reports.
Only 19% of large scheme applications are determined within 13 weeks, which is down from 57% 10 years ago.
Housing secretary Michael Gove is reported to be looking at how to deal with the problem, after writing to 10 councils threatening to take over their planning departments.
The Government is considering raising fees in the hope the extra revenue will solve the shortage of planning officers.
Problems with decisions are hampering the Government’s efforts to hit 300,000 new properties every year.
New build planning approvals slumped to the lowest level since 2008, official figures revealed last month.
The total in England reveals the number of new homes with planning permission fell by more than 10% to 269,000 in the year to March.
The figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities showed that in the first quarter of this year local authorities granted 75,000 approvals, down 11 per cent from the same time last year.
Labour has accused the Government of allowing consents to collapse, and leader Sir Keir Starmer said the party would allow building on green belt land by lifting planning restrictions in some areas.