Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Anna Wise

John Lewis submits plans for London rental homes in west and south east London

John Lewis is getting ready to build hundreds of new rental homes in west and south-east London, which it hopes to house key workers like nurses and teachers.

It marks the next stage in the John Lewis Partnership’s (JLP) plans to build around 1,000 “build-to-rent” homes in West Ealing and Bromley in London, and Reading.

The new homes are set to be kitted out with John Lewis furniture and built next to new flagship Waitrose shops and cafes, along with features like a roof garden, co-working spaces and a communal gym.

The company submitted the first planning applications for the London developments on Friday.

JLP, which also owns Waitrose, said its scheme will help to address the UK housing crisis and rising demand for rental properties, at a time when private landlords are leaving the market.

The plans will see 428 new homes built in West Ealing and 353 in Bromley.

The company also owns an empty warehouse in Reading which it plans to convert into homes later in the year.

More than a third of the homes built will affordable, JLP said, although it did not specify what the rental costs are expected to be.

Key public sector workers like nurses and teachers will be targeted as future tenants for the cheaper homes.

JLP hopes the first tenants will move into properties towards the end of 2027 before the scheme is completed in 2028.

The homes will be built for different-sized households, and residents will have the option to secure both short- and long-term tenancies.

In December, the retail giant unveiled the £500 million deal with investment giant Abrdn, having previously said it wants to build 10,000 rental homes during the decade.

Later in the year, JLP also plans to take over the management of three existing “build-to-rent” developments which it does not own.

Working with our partner Abrdn, we want to bring much needed new homes with a community feel to Bromley and West Ealing, which will include the full commitments to affordable housing

Nina Bhatia, John Lewis Partnership

Nina Bhatia, executive director for strategy and commercial development, said: “We’ve worked closely with local communities to understand their needs and we’re now ready to submit planning applications.

“Working with our partner Abrdn, we want to bring much needed new homes with a community feel to Bromley and West Ealing, which will include the full commitments to affordable housing.”

Last month, John Lewis faced criticism following reports that its employee-owned structure could be changed in a bid to encourage outside investment into the group.

But chairwoman Dame Sharon White insisted that JLP will “always be an employee-owned business”, adding: “no ifs, no buts, there is absolutely no question of demutualisation”.

Nevertheless, the group sunk to a £78 million loss before exceptional items in the year to the end of January, blaming inflationary pressures on the profit slump.

Dame Sharon said she was trying to steer a turnaround of the group’s financial performance but that it could lead to employees losing their jobs.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.