John Lewis to build rental homes in Reading and London in move to diversify from high street

John Lewis reveals the first three locations for its new rental homes. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images

The John Lewis Partnership has announced the first three locations it will build hundreds of rental homes as part of the company's plans to diversify from the high street.

The vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading will be replaced with properties, and homes will also be built above two Waitrose stores - in Bromley, east London, and Ealing, west London.

The John Lewis Partnership, which runs the John Lewis department stores and the supermarket chain Waitrose, plans to build 10,000 homes in the next 10 years.

It said the homes would "offer the trust, quality and service that people expect from John Lewis".

The company hopes to raise standards in rental property, through its role as a developer and manager of the buildings.

The company wants to diversify its business. Credit: Myung Jung Kim/PA Archive/PA Images

Public consultations will be held for residents who live near to the proposed sites.

The company hopes to begin the consultation for the Bromley and West Ealing homes in the coming months, with a view to submit planning applications next year.

A period of public consultation for Mill Lane, Reading, will take place later in the year.

In a statement, the company said: "Moving into the rental homes market is part of our 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 our high standards.

The company owns the Waitrose supermarket chain. Credit: PA

"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."

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