Developer Urban Catalyst’s £60m scheme for a public library in Barking, east London, has been put on hold after contractor Wates stopped work this week.

Ken Dytor, Urban Catalyst’s chief executive, asked the contractor to take the action because the contract had still not been finalised. No restart date has been set, although work could begin again by the end of the month.

A spokesperson for Urban Catalyst said: “We’ve stopped work on the site while we conclude contractual negotiations. We still have some outstanding issues.”

A spokesperson for Wates said that there was “absolutely no dispute between Urban Catalyst and Wates”, attributing the delay to paperwork.

The work was understood to have started on site before the contract was finalised because the team was required to meet deadlines laid down by the ODPM, which is part-funding the scheme.

The Lifelong Learning Centre, designed by architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, is an integral part of the Barking town square project. It is funded by the ODPM, the University of East London, Barking College and Barking and Dagenham council.

The LLC is intended to be a centre of excellence for education and skills development. The scheme will also have about 200 one and two-bedroom flats. It had been anticipated that the LLC would open at the beginning of next year, with the housing handed over in 2007.