Plans to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants have been criticised by a former permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

According to Lord Kerslake, the previous coalition government introduced a lot of "good and productive initiatives" to stimulate house building activity.

However, he said he is "completely opposed" to the new Conservative-only administration's plans, particularly the Right to Buy extension and the requirement for councils to sell off high-value properties when they become unoccupied.

Lord Kerslake stated he has "real doubts" as to whether the receipts from the sales of these properties can cover the cost of the Right to Buy discount at the same time and ensure the re-provision of new affordable homes.

This, he said, is because the level of sales in London could reach about 5,000 a year. As a result, he believes boroughs across the capital would find it "almost impossible" to replace each one with new-build affordable homes.

Furthermore, he warned there would be a "substantial" flow of funds out of London, which could be as much as £5 billion.

Lord Kerslake said this would be redistributed across other parts of the country "to make the numbers balance", but be "completely counterproductive" in London as the city has "acute" housing needs.

The peer acknowledged there is a good case for local authorities being "able selectively to sell off some of their high-values to reinvest".

However, he said the government is proposing a "top down, one-size-fits-all approach" that is "contrary to the spirit of greater devolution".

Lord Kerslake added that the plans will bring about "unintended consequences" and should "at the very least" be subject to a full independent financial review before they are put in place.