Ministers are to re-write the planning rules to speed up development and deliver a boost to the flagging economy, Chancellor George Osborne says.
Mr Osborne warned that the the country could not afford to wait years for new development at a time when the economy was struggling.
He said that while the economy was "healing", there was no easy route to a "magical recovery".
"We have to do more and we have to do it faster," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.
"They are difficult times for the British economy, difficult times for the world but our economy is healing, jobs are being created, it is taking time, but there is no easy route to a magical recovery."
The Chancellor said that the Government would be introducing legislation when Parliament returns this week following the summer recess to speed up planning decisions, and to enable it Government to use its low interest rates to help underwrite construction projects.
He said that ministers would also be encouraging local authorities to use existing powers enabling them to build on Green Belt land if an equivalent area of land elsewhere is brought into the Green Belt.
"I think we can speed up planning. It is absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. This country, in the current economic environment, cannot afford to wait years for development," he said.