Plymouth City Council Leader John Ingham is to be the deputy chairman.
These appointments will be made subject to parliamentary approval of the development corporation, which is expected to be established formally on 1 April 1993.
The board of the corporation will have eight other members, three of whom will represent Plymouth and one Devon CC; together with four private sector representatives.
Devon leader Simon Day will also be on the board.
Jonathan Harris FRICS, chairman and managing director of Carlisle Group, will be one of the private sector representatives. The remaining appointments will be announced shortly.
Mr Redwood said: 'I am pleased that Sir Robert has accepted the secretary of state's invitation to serve as chairman.
'As former Flag Officer at Plymouth, he has first hand knowledge of the area. I look forward to working with him on this important initiative. The Urban Development Corporation will provide a tremendous boost to Plymouth by revitalising the economy and bringing new confidence to the city.
'I am also delighted that John Ingham, leader of the city council, has agreed to join the board as its deputy chairman, and Simon Day, leader of the county, as a member. The UDC will undoubtedly benefit from working in close co-operation with both the city and with Devon County Council.'
Sir Robert said: 'I am proud to be asked to lead this new development corporation. As a local resident and having served in Plymouth over many years in both seagoing and shore appointments, I am very attached to the city and to its traditions.
'I believe the UDC has a vital role to play in regenerating these important waterfront sites, in partnership with the local authorities, the private sector and the other agencies concerned.'
The UDC will be responsible for regenerating parts of the Defence Estate which are surplus to operational requirements.
The corporation will be established on 1 April with the primary objective of promoting development in its designated area and revitalising the local economy. It will have planning and compulsory purchase powers and an indicative budget of £45m over a lifespan of about five years, subject to usual public expenditure decisions.
Some £7m will be available in 1993/94, the Corporation's first year of operation.
The corporation will be managed by a board of 10, including the chairman and deputy chairman. The other private sector appointments will be announced in due course.
Plymouth Development Corporation will be the twelfth UDC.
The other 11 UDCs in England are: Birmingham Heartlands, Black Country, Bristol, Central Manchester, Leeds, London Docklands, Merseyside, Sheffield, Trafford Park, Teesside and Tyne and Wear.