Ministers have decided to hand responsibility for the Thames Gateway regeneration programme to the soon-to-be formed housing and regeneration super-agency, contradicting earlier statements.

The government had originally intended to transfer responsibility for just three of its designated growth areas to the agency, leaving the Thames Gateway as the responsibility of the communities department.

The U-turn follows the departure in December of Judith Armitt, the Thames Gateway chief executive. Armitt left the department after widespread criticism of the regeneration scheme and the troubled production of the delivery plan.