One bedroom and two bedroom homes now account for more than 80% of housing across the Thames Gateway.

As a result in some Gateway boroughs there is little or none for families. One and two bedroom homes make up 99% of housing output in Lewisham, 93% in Tower Hamlets and 89% in Southend, Essex. No four bed homes were recorded in Newham, Lewisham, Havering and Gravesham, Kent.

The statistics are revealed in a survey commissioned by property law firm Davies Arnold Cooper.

Robert Lee, its head of real estate, said: “The government has forced authorities to act in a way that is simply not strategic. Many developments are being approved to meet targets as opposed to marrying with the shortfall in housing demands in their area.”

The study, by the University of East London, looked at 56 large developments of more than 100 homes. Its findings are in line with research by the Greater London Authority published in June, which showed that 80% of the capital’s homes are apartments.

The latest survey comes as concern grows over the shortage of family housing in the South-east. Lee said: “If we continue in this vein we will be changing the social make-up of areas.”