John Lewis reveals locations for first new rental homes

The retail giant confirmed plans last year to transform parts of its real estate portfolio into rental accommodation.

08 June 2022

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has confirmed the first locations where it will build hundreds of rental homes as part of the group’s plans to expand outside of traditional shops.

The group, which runs both the John Lewis department store arm and Waitrose grocery business, is pushing forward with proposals for three sites.

JLP plans to build properties over Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing in Greater London, as well as replacing a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading, with accommodation.

The full details have not yet been disclosed prior to consultations but it is understood these three projects will create a few hundred homes.

Plastic pollution
JLP said it will develop two sites for rental properties above Waitrose stores (Waitrose/PA)

Local residents in Bromley and West Ealing will be invited to several rounds of public consultation over the coming months to discuss the redevelopment, the business said.

JLP added that detailed designs will not be shown until later in the year to give residents the opportunity to help shape the plans.

The group then intends to submit planning applications for Bromley and West Ealing next year following local feedback.

Meanwhile, a period of public consultation is expected to take place for the Reading site later this year.

The sites are part of JLP’s target to deliver 10,000 homes in the next 10 years, with at least half of these coming schemes linked to the retail group’s own property portfolio.

It makes part of the group’s ambition to secure 40% of its profits outside of retail by 2030.

It makes part of the group’s ambition to secure 40% of its profits outside of retail by 2030.

The growth strategy came as the group faced significant losses, driven by its department store arm, following the pandemic, with the group ultimately shutting a number of stores and axing thousands of jobs.

Nina Bhatia, executive director for strategy and commercial development at JLP, said: “Everything people love about our brand – quality, trust and service – we want to bring to the experience of renting a home with us.

“Our role as developer and operator, as well as an already established local business and employer, signals our ambition to bring long-term value to each of these communities.

“Helping to create homes has always been at the heart of what we do and we now have a unique opportunity to use our expertise and skills in new ways to deliver much-needed new housing.”

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