The role, which includes responsibility for regeneration body English Partnerships, has been vacant since October when Paul Evans was seconded to Southwark council in south London. Evans is not expected to return for another 18 months while he works on projects such as the £1.5bn Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme.
Lunts leaves the foundation, which is sponsored by Prince Charles, after three-and-a-half years as chief executive. He recently outlined the foundation's plans for a model urban village on a derelict railway goods yard in Cornwall. He also helped the prince carry out his role as the Department of Health's design adviser.
It is unclear when Lunts will start his job and he has yet to receive a full briefing on what it will entail. He said: "It's a different role for me. It's the opportunity to work on a slightly larger stage."
It’s a different role for me. It’s the opportunity to work on a larger stage
David Lunts, new director, DTLR urban policy unit
Lunts said he would be keeping an eye on the government review of English Partnerships, but will not take an active role in reforming the body.
Lunts decided to leave the foundation because he believed he had completed his work there. He has overseen the merger of several bodies sponsored by the Prince to the form the foundation. He said: "Having set the thing up, I hope we got it right."