This week John Lewis Partnership’s is holding a second round of consultations to deliver much-needed new Build to Rent homes on its proposed site in Bromley, following initial consultations with local residents and community groups in summer 2022.
The news follows the Partnership’s announcement in December of a £500m multi-decade joint venture with global investment company abrdn, which will see them deliver around 1,000 new homes across three locations announced in June 2022 – Waitrose shop sites in Bromley and West Ealing, and a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading,
The Partnership’s latest plans set out its aspiration to deliver around 350 new high-quality, energy efficient homes in Bromley, and includes major improvements to the existing Waitrose shop. Plans will continue to evolve during the consultation process.
The London Borough of Bromley currently has a target to deliver around 650 homes, although the Draft London Plan set out by The Mayor of London has a housing target for Bromley of 1,423 per year.
The proposals for the Build to Rent properties, which will be developed, owned and managed by the Partnership, have placed an emphasis on addressing specific local needs and incorporating design principles aligned to its values – centred around nature, wellness, sustainability and community.
A public piazza is located at the heart of the development, with the surrounding homes and gardens attractively landscaped. The use of natural light will be maximised throughout to give a sense of space. Also included in the plans is a significantly revamped Waitrose shop, a café, and improvements to the public realm such as new cycle routes and pedestrian links through the site, as well as new green spaces to increase its biodiversity.
Other features include a range of amenities and facilities such as lounges and spaces to work, exercise, eat and relax – to help create a vibrant and thriving place to live and to encourage residents to socialise. The homes would be built for different sized households and designed to the Partnership’s high standards, with homes furnished by John Lewis. Residents would have options for short and long-term tenures.
London’s planning policy directs new homes to be built on brownfield sites in well-connected and sustainable central locations like Waitrose Bromley, which avoids creating urban sprawl or impacting green spaces. The Partnership’s site is next to Bromley South Rail Station in the town centre and at the intersection of major roads. The Partnership has tested a number of different design options to determine how the homes would integrate within the site’s surroundings, including looking at the height and scale of existing buildings nearby.
The target is to deliver 10,000 homes in the next ten years – 5,000 of these will come from schemes on the Partnership’s own property portfolio. Moving into the rental homes market is part of its long-term plan for 40% of profits to come from beyond retail by 2030.