A senior civil servant at the communities department has refused to guarantee the future of development corporations set up to aid the construction of 160,000 homes in the Thames Gateway.

The delivery of government programmes in the area has been put under review by Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive designate of the Homes and Communities Agency.

Joe Montgomery, director general of regions and communities at the communities department, when asked whether urban development corporations in the Lee Valley, Barking and Thurrock would continue, said: “It’s too early to comment. We're working with existing organisations to deliver our current programme. This year’s programme is our priority.”

A source at the communities department said the government was analysing which civil servant duties would transfer over to the new agency.