Sowing the seeds

A RICH harvest of jobs and homes is expected at a Canning Town site currently used as allotments.

Communities Minister Bob Neill visited The Place, Silvertown Way, on Monday to announce that Morrisons are to be the retailer at the heart of a �600million regeneration project.

The minister, who joined volunteers and young people using the site, said: “This is a very important milestone in the vital regeneration of Canning Town, demonstrating the scope and the sheer scale of East London’s transformation.”

A host of dignitaries joined Mr Neill for the announcement, including Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales, West Ham MP Lyn Brown, Madani Sow, chairman of site developer Bouygues Development, and Bob Lane, chairman of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC).


The Morrisons-led retail and residential project will include 172 homes for private and social use.

The scheme represents the first phase of the �3.7billion LTGDC Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme, which includes 10,000 new homes and two new town centres.

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While providing much-needed housing and jobs for Canning Town, construction work on the Silvertown Way scheme is not expected until 2012 with completion in 2014.

MP Lyn Brown expressed frustration at the delay in getting the project off the ground, stressing the urgent need to provide housing for the many people on local social housing waiting lists.

Addressing the concerns, Mr Lane said: “This is a huge project and it is important that we get it right. The timescale for a scheme of this size is quite quick.”

Young people and volunteers from the Peacock Gym, Caxton Street, gave the VIPs a tour of the allotments, which are being used by 16 organisations on a temporary basis.