The John Lewis Partnership owners of Waitrose and the high street department store chain has announced the first three locations where it proposes to build and manage a series of new rental homes.
Sites include building over Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing in Greater London, as well as replacing a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Reading.
The homes would form part of the UK’s growing ‘built-to-rent’ property market as the partnership “seeks to raise standards in rental property”, both through its role as developer and with the commitment to manage the buildings itself.
Local people in Bromley and West Ealing will be invited to several rounds of public consultation over the coming months to discuss the principle of helping to deliver much-needed homes through the redevelopment of the Waitrose stores that the retailer said would also be significantly improved as part of the development plans.
Properties will include facilities such as roof gardens and fitness studios.
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.”