The most senior civil servant responsible for construction affairs, Elizabeth Whatmore, is to leave her post at the DTI next month.

Whatmore, director of construction, is going to the ODPM to work in the regional coordination unit. She has been in the post since May 2002 and has been a key player in efforts to get the industry to embrace the Egan and Latham agendas.

Whatmore, who succeeded John Hobson as head of the construction directorate, previously worked in the construction sponsorship division of the civil service.

A DTI spokesperson said: "She will move in early May. Procedures are in hand to find a successor and ensure a smooth handover."

She will be implementing a review of government offices.

During Whatmore's tenure senior industry figures have repeatedly lobbied for a dedicated construction ministry, a call that the government has not heeded.