The long-delayed localism bill will be published on Monday, according to communities secretary Eric Pickles.
Mr Pickles used Twitter to reveal that the legislation − which had been expected a month ago − would be introduced to Parliament “next Monday”.
His entry on the Twitter microblogging site added “Lots of power to councils”.
Earlier this week, speculation had been rife that the bill would be delayed until the New Year.
However, a Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman told NCE’s sister magazine Local Government Chronicle (LGC) that it was more likey to be published next week than in January.
Space has been reserved in the House of Commons timetable for the “second reading of a bill (title to be announced)” according to the official parliamentary website.
The bill, which with around 200 clauses is expected to lay out a number of the government’s key reforms to local government, housing and planning, was initially expected to be published in late November. It was then delayed two weeks after cross-departmental wrangling over proposals to hand more powers to directly elected mayors.
Then last week Number 10 said the bill would be published on 9 December. However, Pickles’ announcement means the bill’s first reading has been delayed again.
LGC was told part of the problem was DCLG ministers had thrown “an unnecessary clock of secrecy around the bill” leading to a lack of cross-departmental consultation.