John Lewis’s BtR arm will appeal Ealing Council’s ‘failure to decide’ on its planning application, despite the council stating JLP was previously ’keen to extend time for determination’

John Lewis Partnership has informed Ealing Council that it plans to appeal to the planning inspectorate regarding its proposal to redevelop the Waitrose store in West Ealing.

Secchi Smith & LDS_Waitrose West Ealing 2

Source: Secchi Smith & LDS

JLP’s plans for the redevelopment of the Waitrose West Ealing store and construction of 428 homes above it

The redevelopment will also deliver 428 build-to-rent homes in four blocks of up to 20 storeys, including 83 affordable homes.

John Lewis Partnership (JLP) submitted a full planning application for the redevelopment of Waitrose West Ealing almost a year ago, on 4 August 2023.

The council was originally set to determine the application by the deadline of 6 November 2023.

For smaller developments, the statutory time limit for determining a planning application is eight weeks. In the case of major development proposals, the timeframe is 13 weeks.

The development has been subject to opposition from residents, who voiced concerns about the height of the towers. In addition, the leader of Ealing Council, Peter Mason, has raised concerns that the development does not meet affordability targets.

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JLP has stated that it is “confident that an appeal will grant permission” and that it 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”.

John Lewis has also said that the development’s scale follows policy set out in the mayor’s London Plan, which promotes “identifying sites suitable for higher density mixed-use residential intensification capitalising on the availability of services within walking and cycling distance and current and future public transport provision including, for example comprehensive redevelopment of low-density supermarket sites”.

JLP has said the likely submission date of the appeal will be 25 June 2024.

Katherine Russell, Director of build-to-rent at JLP, 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 to Ealing Council. 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”.

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

An Ealing Council spokesperson said: “The council has consistently raised a number of concerns with this application and the applicant has previously been keen to extend time for determination while dialogue continued to see if those concerns could be addressed.

”It is extremely disappointing that they now seem to have decided to appeal non-determination rather than wait for a local decision. Up until yesterday morning our understanding was that they were considering amendments to address our concerns.”

JLP still aims to start on-site in late 2025 and finish in 2029, subject to the appeal process.