Chairs for two key urban development corporations to receive £45,000 each for two-day week.
The government has started a search for senior figures to oversee the 200,000-home development of the Thames Gateway, Europe's largest brownfield site.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has advertised for applicants to lead the two urban development corporations that are to co-ordinate the development. A number of positions on these boards will be taken up by local authority representatives, but the ODPM is also looking for private sector executives.

The chairs of the UDCs, known as London Thames Gateway and Thurrock, will receive £44,528 a year for a two-day week; their deputies will get £33,450 for the same working week; and board members will be offered £11,259 a year for a three-day month.

The Thurrock UDC will be set up in the autumn, with the London version following in the spring.

The advertisement inviting applications warns that changes in legislation are required before the UDCs can be set up.

It says: "These opportunities are being advertised on the basis that, if for any reason parliamentary approval is not obtained, they may be withdrawn."

The make-up of the UDCs was discussed at a 90-minute inaugural, meeting of the London Gateway Strategic Board last Wednesday. This is a body of leading figures charged with discussing the development of the London part of the Thames Gateway.

It was chaired by housing minister Keith Hill. Hill and London mayor Ken Livingstone will alternate the chairmanship of the meetings, which are due to take place every three months.

Others at the meeting included architect Richard Rogers and representatives from the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets.

Hill said: "This body brings together the mayor, the boroughs, the ODPM and other players like [regeneration agency] English Partnerships.

"We were looking at the beginnings of a masterplan for east London and looking at the plans to bring in the UDCs. The idea is to have both of them up-and-running by early next year."