The John Lewis Partnership has announced the first three locations where it proposes to build new rental homes that would offer the trust, quality and service that people expect from John Lewis.
The homes would form part of the UK’s growing 'built-to-rent' property market as the Partnership seeks to raise standards in rental property, both through its role as developer and a commitment to manage the buildings once built.
The three proposed sites include building over Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing in Greater London, as well as replacing a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading.
Local people in Bromley and West Ealing will be invited to several rounds of public consultation over the coming months to discuss the principle of helping to deliver much-needed homes through the redevelopment of the Waitrose stores, which would also be significantly improved as part of the proposals.
Detailed designs will not be shown until later in the year to give residents the opportunity to shape the plans at this early stage. Subject to the feedback received during these consultations, John Lewis' intention would be to submit planning applications for Bromley and West Ealing next year. A period of public consultation for Mill Lane, Reading, will take place later this year.
The three locations are the first sites to be announced after John Lewis confirmed its target to deliver 10,000 homes in the next ten years - 5,000 of these will come from schemes on the Partnership's own property portfolio. Moving into the rental homes market is part of the company's long-term plan for 40% of profits to come from outside of retail by 2030.
The homes would be built for different sized households and designed to high standards. Residents would have options for short and long-term tenure and to have the homes furnished by John Lewis.
Creating a sense of community through incorporating shared spaces and facilities such as roof gardens and fitness studios and exploring how schemes can play a role in the wider community would be integral to our approach.
Nina Bhatia, Executive Director for Strategy and Commercial Development at the John Lewis Partnership, 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.”