The government intends to have a strategic framework for the Thames Gateway in place by next summer, said communities minister David Miliband.

He said the framework, which would “shape and guide strategic and local decisions”, would be led by the ODPM but the department would consult widely over it

.Miliband said: “I want a strategic framework for the Gateway as a distinctive economic and social unit, to shape and guide investments, decisions and actions. A framework that joins up development

funding and recurrent expenditure. A framework that integrates economic, public service and housing developments.

“This cannot be a government diktat. It has to be a framework created and shared by the agencies and organisations in the Gateway in partnership with the government, a partnership of equals.”

Miliband told delegates at the Thames Gateway Forum at Excel in east London that he had not yet decided whether to bring in an external consultant to oversee the process.

He said the framework would draw on regional spatial strategies and would link them together to give an overarching vision, although it would be one that would recognise the distinctiveness of the region. It would also provide the basis on which planning decisions would be taken.

One institution in Stalinist control is likely to get complex projects wrong

David Miliband

Earlier in his speech Milliband had rejected the idea of creating one overall body to lead development within the Gateway as recommended by Richard Rogers in the urban taskforce report.

He said: “The history of central planning shows that one institution in Stalinist control is likely to get complex projects wrong.

“But in rejecting reorganisation and backing a structure better rooted in the distinct communities of the Gateway, we need to address the danger that we will fail to garner the gains from synergy, spread efforts too thinly, and fail to achieve sufficient focus and make optimal trade-offs. In other words, that we will fail to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.”

In a separate speech David Higgins, the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, emphasised the importance of the Stratford City development to create a successful Olympic Games. He said one of his first tasks would be to link Stratford City to the Olympic village.