Miliband to take tough stance on housing

The Labour leader will also target “stick in the mud” councils which block neighbouring councils’ plans to build more homes.

Miliband is expected to say: “We will stand up for home builders and first-time buyers. And take on those who stand in the way of working people and their children having the decent homes they deserve."

He is expected to highlight that despite housing starts being at their lowest levels in peacetime since the 1920s, profits of the main housing developers are “going through the roof”.

He will add: “But there are large amounts of land – enough to build more than a million homes - earmarked for houses which have not been built. Developers need a bank of land with which to work. But sometimes they, and other landowners, are hoarding it.”

He will say that the next Labour government will give councils powers to charge fees or, if necessary, purchase such land, in a “use it or lose it” attitude.