Only 46 per cent of local authorities in England have a post-National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) adopted local plan in place, according to research by consultancy Savills.
The Housing White Paper published earlier this year said that the government would intervene where necessary to ensure local plans are in place.
Since then, 15 authorities have been threatened with central government intervention to ensure that they produce an up-to-date plan.
Savill's Research found that of those councils with adopted plans, 15 were at least five years old and would need updating to reflect proposed changes in the method of calculating housing need.
The 54 per cent of local authorities without an up-to-date post-NPPF plan were found to be at various stages of the plan-making process, with seven per cent yet to begin initial preparation of a post-NPPF plan.