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John Lewis venture into property

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Could The John Lewis Partnership be joining the Class MA PD rights gold rush?

 

The John Lewis Partnership have not had an easy ride during Covid-19. The retailer owning department stores and Waitrose supermarkets began the pandemic by cutting 1390 jobs and closing multiple stores including 8 department shops and 4 Waitrose supermarkets. Just as things could not get any worse the JLP decided to cut a further 1500 jobs from their head office in November. Their sites in Victoria, London and Bracknell, Berkshire were affected.

 

One thing is for certain, John Lewis certainly has not disappeared completely. 35 stores remain which is more than can be said for their rivals Debenhams. Unlike some retailers, John Lewis doesn’t appear to be caught in the headlights of their impending doom. Nina Bhatia, the executive director of strategy and social development was quoted this week “As a business driven by social purpose, we have big ambitions” – A surprising remark to make all thing considered. This is because John Lewis have set their sights on the biggest commerce demand of all. The Housing Crisis.

 

This year, the government announced a new strategy to help developers capitalise on the empty commercial properties that are no longer in use. Class MA is the permitted development right given to help commercial conversion to residential properties. From the 1st August 2021 this new PD right comes into effect meaning much more of our high street could be revitalised.

 

This week, John Lewis announced that they would be seeking to build 10,000 new homes over the next decade with 7000 confirmed on existing sites. The properties will all be rented with the JLP as the landlord and will all have the option of being fully furnished by John Lewis.

 

It is unclear whether the existing sites will be converted using Class MA PD rights but with all the recent changes to permitted development it is more than likely prompted the new strategy. There has been much interest in vacant buildings already with two of our very own Nimbus users, Costa and Aldi, recently completing a purchase of the Tamworth Store.

 

Join the Commercial to Residential gold rush now, take a trial of Nimbus Maps Elite today!

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