John Lewis submits application for 350 ‘build-to-rent’ homes

Major retailer John Lewis has submitted an application to build 353 homes for rent.

The department store wants to build the homes in Masons Hill, Bromley.

The John Lewis Partnership revealed in January it was planning for a new pair of tower blocks at the site, with the tallest building 24 storeys in height.

A public piazza will be at the heart of the development, as well as a new flagship Waitrose store and cafe.

John Lewis has also planned for improved access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Other features include a resident lounge, and dining areas with a fully-equipped kitchen to encourage residents to socialise, as well as roof gardens, flexible work spaces and a gym.

The plans are part of a wider £500m scheme with global investment company abrdn to build 1,000 homes above Waitrose and John Lewis stores in Bromley, West Ealing and Reading.

The John Lewis Partnership plans to build 10,000 homes in the next 10 years.

“Build-to-rent” is a growing sector in the UK where homes are built with the sole purpose of renting. John Lewis say it favours this approach over building to “sell for a quick profit”.

“It’s much needed to address the growing housing crisis and rising demand for rental homes as private landlords leave the market,” the chain said.

The homes are targeted at key public sector workers such as nurses and teachers.

John Lewis says it has an “ambition” to make 35 per cent of the properties affordable, with a focus on provision for key workers.

The average proportion of affordable housing in new homes developed in England in 2022 was 11.4 per cent, according to figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The homes would be built for different sized households. Residents would have options for short and long-term tenure and the homes would be furnished by John Lewis.

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.”

Pictured top: CGI of the John Lewis development in Bromley (Picture: John Lewis Partnership)

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Bromley – South London News