John Lewis’s build-to-rent strategy appears to be stalling amid local opposition to its plans for large developments in West Ealing and Bromley.
The retailer has just announced pre-tax losses of £234 million as sales dipped 2% last year, making it even more vital to find new revenue streams.
Last year, it struck a £500m deal with the investment firm Abrdn to build 1,000 residential rental homes on three sites, however, local people and Bromley councillors are challenging the plans and its aspiration to become a huge private landlord.
John Lewis’s scheme to redevelop its Waitrose West Ealing site by 2027, which includes three blocks of apartments (main picture) up to 19 storeys high, has incurred the wrath of Ealing campaigning group, Stop The Towers.
Meanwhile, its plans for Bromley include the tallest tower block in the town – 24 storeys – and 350 flats, which will be considered by the council’s planning committee later this year. One councillor has already warned they won’t be voting to approve the development.
Warehouse Although John Lewis has plans to replace its closed warehouse in Reading town centre with homes, no official plan has been submitted.
A spokesman told the local newspaper in West Ealing: “Our analysis supports the heights we are proposing, however these consultations are designed to give local people every opportunity to share their views to help shape our plans.”
The retailer has vowed to “continue to assess further potential sites that would be suitable for development” in its full-year results, following its announcement that it plans to build 10,000 homes in the next 10 years.
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