East Londoners planning to move home think new houses in the Thames Gateway are "monotonous and characterless", a new report found.

The multi-million pound development spans over 20 miles from south-east London to Kent and Essex and aims to attract a broad range of people.

But today the Institute for Public Policy Research, a leading think tank, warned that the priorities across income groups vary greatly.

The project, said to be Europe's largest urban regeneration scheme, includes 160,000 new homes over the next ten years.

'Affordable housing'

"Although people want to be able to live in housing which is affordable they certainly don't want to live in something called 'affordable housing'," said researcher Jim Bennett.

"People are put off by the idea of standardised developments, without access to local community services or communal green space."

The study included 56 East Londoners though interviews and focus groups.

Higher-income earners, all from Lewisham and Bexley, were not keen to move to the Thames Gateway. Only areas with fast transport links and a strong cultural heritage would attract them.

They also shot down the idea of mixed communities.

"You don't want to get your perfect house, then have a burnt out Ford Cortina at the end of your drive," said one Bexley resident.

'Plastic houses'

All groups feared that the new homes would be "designed purely to minimise costs", the report found.

"We get bigger TVs and bigger stereos, but they keep the walls really thin so you can hear everything," a Lewsiham resident said.

Another added: "They are all made out of the same sort of shiny brick. They look like plastic houses."

Mr Bennet said these "negative perceptions" would make it hard to draw a social mix of people into the Gateway.

The development has been criticised before for flood risk, lack of funding and urban sprawl.