OWNERS of unused land and empty property were in the firing line of the Budget, as Philip Hammond laid out plans to boost housing supply.

Housebuilder shares took a tumble after the Chancellor warned of Government intervention if companies fail to take advantage of planning permission and continue to sit on pockets of land.The measures were part of a housing-heavy Budget that saw Philip Hammond hit second home owners south of the border who could see their taxes double.

The Chancellor announce he is planning a land banking review - ­included the potential use of compulsory purchase orders.  It remained to be seen last night if the Scottish Government would consider a similar review or take heed of the Hammond-announced examination.

It will be the fifth review on the issue since 2004, which all found housebuilders did not land bank.

Rise Scotland members placed hundreds of posters highlighting the issue on vacant commercial properties across Scotland on Tuesday night.

Mr Hammond said: “One thing is very clear: there is a significant gap between the number of planning permissions granted and the number of homes built.

“We need to understand why, so I am establishing an urgent review to look at the gap between planning permissions and housing starts.

He said if the review finds "vitally needed land is being withheld from the market for commercial, rather than technical, reasons" the government would intervene to change the incentives to ensure such land is brought forward for development "using direct intervention compulsory purchase powers as necessary."

An interim report is expected in time for the Spring Statement next year.

HeraldScotland: Public confidence in Scotland's housing market has risen, a report claims

Last month a new campaign against land banking – when land is purchased and left derelict with the aim of future sale or development - was launched by socialist coalition party Rise (Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism) Scotland, coinciding with national industry representative Homes for Scotland describing the issue as a “myth”.

The Scottish Greens have also been consistently opposed the practice, calling for a tax on derelict land to fund house-building and incentivise job creation in poor areas. While Green proposals to include such a tax in the Land Reform Act 2016 were not agreed by the Scottish Government, SNP membership voted at the party’s spring conference to explore the option of taxing the value of undeveloped land.

The Chancellor also announced £15 billion of additional funds to support the housing market over the next five years, part of a £44billion package, as he set an aim of building 300,000 homes a year.

But plans for potential intervention on company land holdings preoccupied investors, prompted a sharp fall in the market value of big house builders. By mid-afternoon Barratt was down 3.3 per cent, Persimmon by almost two per cent, Redrow nearly one per cent, Taylor Wimpey by more than 1.3 per cent, Berkeley by 2.8 per cent and Bovis by 1.3 per cent.

Together they saw around £660 million wiped off their stock market value.

It came as it emerged a housebuilding business founded by Philip Hammond was accused of sitting on an undeveloped plot of land in north Wales which has been granted planning permission for four new homes.

Castlemead Limited, which was co-founded by the Chancellor in 1984 and builds new homes and doctor’s surgeries could stand to lose out from any revew.

Castlemead Group, which is majority-owned by the company, has granted permission to build four homes in north Wales in June 2010 on the condition work on the site would begin within five years.

But the site reportedly remains undeveloped.

Mr Hammond resigned as a director in 2010 and does not have any direct influence over the company’s activities.

Mr Hammond's  action on second home owners in England would give local authorities the ability to charge up to 100 per cent extra for council tax on unoccupied homes. Since April 2013 local authorities have been able to charge 50 per cent extra in council tax for these home owners.

The move to hike taxes on vacant houses and flats is aimed at dissuading property investors from allowing homes to sit empty while many struggle to find somewhere to live.

Local authorities north of the border are already able to charge 100 per cent council tax, the Scottish Government said.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, says: "The Chancellor showed that he understands that the UK’s housing shortage is because of planning controls stopping development in the places people want to live and showed welcome restraint on empty homes, land banking and council housing, despite huge pressure for bad, kneejerk crackdowns that would make the housing market even more dysfunctional.

"His focus on densifying areas around existing train stations and investigating the regulatory barriers to longer leases in the private rental market, in particular, echo policies that the Adam Smith Institute has been proposing for years."

Lewis Johnston, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “In the run-up to the Budget Phillip Hammond suggested he would be leading a concerted Government effort to deliver 300,000 homea a year.

While some industry concerns have been taken into account, overall today’s announcements don’t match up to that ambition.

“The pledged £44 billion package of housing support seems positive, but it does not represent the kind of comprehensive strategy we need, nor is it clear how much of this figure is made up of previously announced policies.

“Most of the announced measures are also only due to come in 2019/2020 instead of having an immediate impact, and the Chancellor stated that we would not be building the 300,000 new homes a year until the mid 2020s, leaving the country to wait at least eight years."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are committed to strengthening the role of planning in delivering housing and infrastructure and we continue to support the industry and local authorities to deliver their housing priorities with quality homes in mixed communities that fit local needs.”