John Lewis under fire over Ealing residential scheme

8th March 2023 | Jack Oliver

The John Lewis Partnership has been accused of bullying by the leader of Ealing council over concerns surrounding its first build-to-rent scheme.

The partnership plans to construct 430 flats in towers reaching 19 floors high above one of its Waitrose stores, however this is well behind schedule, residents say.

The Labour Party’s Peter Mason said that as the new flats would be entering the private rental market, they would be unlikely to provide enough affordable housing, and thus would not be in line with the local council’s development plans.

The planning guidance also recommends that the buildings be between 7 and 13 storeys high, and so the proposed developments would fail to meet these criteria.

Speaking on twitter last week, Mason said: “At the moment it feels like a big institution are trying to twist arms & bully through a scheme, that could be far better, through a precarious planning process using the ever present threat of an appeal.”

Last year, the partnership announced a joint venture with investment company abrdn to deliver around 1,000 new homes in a £500m deal.

John Lewis property director told The Times that there was always some “argy-bargy” when it comes to developments of this scale.

In response, Mason said John Lewis were “demonstrating the height of their arrogance”.

“This is a developer that doesn’t want to tell us what affordable housing there will be, alongside wilful ignorance of the guidance they have been given”, he tweeted.


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