The mayor of Newham has admitted plans to build a new town centre in Canning Town haven’t worked out as well as hoped.

The next phase of Hallsville Quarter will deliver up to 400 rooms for people in education as well as a shopping space but no new homes will be built for residents, despite there being 34,000 households stuck on the council’s waiting list.

Speaking at a Newham Council cabinet meeting on Thursday, March 9, Rokhsana Fiaz said the development has not worked out great for the council.

Ms Fiaz said: “To do right, in essence, is what I personally believe is wrong, I’m using those words carefully to not expose the council because regretfully… the council entered into an agreement with this major developer to re-imagine Canning Town as a new major town centre for the borough and it’s not worked out pretty great – I have to say.”

Prior to Ms Fiaz and her administration stepping into office, a deal had already been signed with Linkcity (formerly BY Development) to deliver a new centre in Canning Town.

She added that the contractual agreement between the council and the developer has been “highly contractual” and that Newham has “limited manoeuvre and choice”.

According to council documents, it would be hard for Newham to exit the agreement without “significant risk”.

Ms Fiaz told cabinet members: “Phase 4 of the development will be able to advance and progress and that will provide 400 student homes and some commercial properties.

“Arguably whether or not we need 400 student homes in that part of the borough is debatable but that’s a conversation for outside of this forum.”

Phase 4 is the penultimate phase of the Hallsville Quarter Masterplan and is expected to be completed by summer 2025. Across all phases, Hallsville Quarter will eventually deliver 1,100 new homes in total as well as a new hotel, offices, shops, a new cinema and community facilities.

Cllr Shaban Mohammed, cabinet member for housing services, told cabinet members: “We need to move on, it’s a bit of a tough decision but we have to go ahead with it.

“I would rather have more homes for our residents and what we’re doing in the Canning Town and Custom House regeneration is more productive as we are working with our residents and looking at their needs and trying to build homes that are fit for purpose.

“I echo what the mayor has said. I think we just need to move forward and recommend this paper today.”

Cabinet members then voted and agreed to continue with the project.