The news follows the publication of survey findings that raise fears that many authorities will not hit the statutory deadline to have a brownfield land register in place by 31 December this year.
Consultancy Troy Planning’s survey, carried out in September, obtained responses from 58 local authorities.
Of those, just under half said they had not made a start on the brownfield register, despite the fact that 80 per cent expected the process to take three months or more to complete.
Putting a register in place is a legal duty under the Brownfield Land Register Regulations 2017, but the government has not until now threatened to impose sanctions or penalties on those authorities that fail to do so.
However, in a statement issued this week, the Department for Communities and Local Government said it is now "keeping a close eye on the situation and we are considering what sanctions and incentives we might use to drive progress".