Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Anna Wise & Yakub Qureshi

The reason why high street chain John Lewis is building hundreds of new homes

John Lewis is preparing to construct hundreds of new rental homes in west and south-east London, with the aim of housing key workers such as nurses and teachers.

This initiative marks the next stage in the John Lewis Partnership's plans to build approximately 1,000 "build-to-rent" homes in West Ealing and Bromley in London, as well as Reading.

The new homes will be furnished with John Lewis furniture and will be situated near new flagship Waitrose shops and cafes. The properties will also feature amenities such as a roof garden, co-working spaces, and a communal gym.

On Friday, the company submitted the first planning applications for the London developments.

By undertaking this scheme, the John Lewis Partnership, which also owns Waitrose, hopes to address the UK's housing crisis and meet the growing demand for rental properties, especially as private landlords exit the market.

The plans entail the construction of 428 new homes in West Ealing and 353 in Bromley.

Additionally, the company plans to convert an empty warehouse in Reading into homes later this year.

According to the John Lewis Partnership, over a third of the homes will be affordable, with a particular focus on providing housing for key public sector workers such as nurses and teachers. However, the rental costs have not been specified.

The company anticipates that the first tenants will move into the properties by the end of 2027, with the entire scheme to be completed in 2028.

The rental homes will be designed to accommodate households of varying sizes, and residents will have the option to secure both short- and long-term tenancies.

In December, the retail giant announced a £500 million deal with investment giant Abrdn, with the goal of building 10,000 rental homes over the next decade.

Later this year, John Lewis also plans to take over the management of three existing "build-to-rent" developments, even though it doesn't own them.

Nina Bhatia, Executive Director for Strategy and Commercial Development, expressed that they have closely collaborated with local communities to understand their needs and are now prepared to submit planning applications. She also highlighted the commitment to affordable housing in the Bromley and West Ealing developments.

She 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 amid reports that its employee-owned structure could be modified to attract external investment. However, Chairwoman Dame Sharon White reiterated that JLP will remain an employee-owned business and emphasised that demutualisation is out of the question.

Although the group suffered a £78 million loss before exceptional items in the year ending January, Dame Sharon affirmed her dedication to turning around the group's financial performance, acknowledging that it may involve job losses.

*You may notice the below message on a small number of Manchester Evening News articles. We like to innovate and this is part of a trial to look at whether AI can help speed up the publishing process, We will always declare where this happens.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up the MEN's editorial research. A Manchester Evening News editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to*

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.