Waitrose store front

The first stores to undergo redevelopment are in Bromley and West Ealing

The John Lewis Partnership has revealed the first three sites of its new rental homes project.

Waitrose’s parent company is set to build new housing at three proposed locations, including over the supermarket’s shops in Bromley and West Ealing, in London, as well as replacing a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading.

Local residents of Bromley and West Ealing will be involved in the several rounds of public consultation required to discuss the redevelopment plans of the Waitrose stores, which are also set to be “significantly improved” as part of the proposals, the JLP said.

The group intends to submit the official planning applications next year. The Reading site will also be subject to a period of public consultation later this year.

“Everything people love about our brand – quality, trust and service – we want to bring to the experience of renting a home with us,” said JLP’s executive director for strategy and commercial development, Nina Bhatia.

“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.”

The locations are the first to be announced in JLP’s plan to build 10,000 homes over the next 10 years, half of which will affect its own estate portfolio.

The plan, which was announced last year, is part of the company’s long-term strategy to diversify its income sources beyond retail by 2030.

Both Waitrose and John Lewis saw business impacted by the pandemic and supply chain woes. The supermarket chain recently posted its first statutory loss in 10 years, after swinging from a profit of £126.3m in 2020 to a loss of £2.3m in 2021.

JLP’s chairwoman Sharon White has also warned the full effects of the current inflationary pressures and growing cost of living crisis on retail are still to be felt.