The John Lewis Partnership is to launch a planning appeal in pursuit of a decision on proposals to redevelop a Waitrose store and build new homes.

Waitrose West Ealing

Source: Secchi Smith & LDS

The retailer is appealing on the grounds of a “non-determination”, meaning the application affecting the store in West Ealing, London, which was submitted nearly a year ago and is still being reviewed by Ealing Council, will be considered by a planning inspector.

The redevelopment, part of the retailer’s plans to diversify its business, has faced local opposition. However, the partnership maintained that it would deliver “broad-reaching benefits in creating vital new housing and a community space while investing further into our retail estate”.

The retailer said: “We are confident that an appeal will grant permission and we will continue to work closely with the council and local community to deliver on a range of social and charitable initiatives should the plans go ahead.”

The partnership wants to build 428 homes at West Ealing including 83 affordable rented homes. It said they would generate more than £8m in council tax revenues and boost the local economy by about £45m a year in extra spending. 

John Lewis Partnership buld-to-rent director Katherine Russell said: “We have taken the decision to appeal for non-determination of our planning application to build new rental homes nearly one year on from first submitting it. Our proposals will create hundreds of homes at a time when all political parties agree there’s a desperate need for more housing and local investment to spur economic growth, with a priority on brownfield land.

“An appeal is not something we take lightly; however, we believe we have strong grounds to be successful given the opportunity to transform an underused brownfield site close to the publicly funded Crossrail station with new homes and investment that will benefit the wider community.”

John Lewis’ rental homes joint venture partner Abrdn head of operational real estate James Dunne said: “We remain fully committed to our strategy of creating thousands of critically needed quality rental homes alongside John Lewis Partnership and look forward to the outcome of the ongoing due process in West Ealing.”