John Lewis calls for brownfield development zones to boost supply


John Lewis has urged for the next government to use brownfield development zones to speed up planning and deliver more housing.

Writing in The Telegraph, Katherine Russell, director of Build to Rent at Johns Lewis Partnership, said: “Brownfield development zones — where height, use and other elements can be pre-agreed — would create greater certainty that policy-compliant schemes are assessed on their merits and their broader benefits for the greater good.

“We need to be pragmatic that there might be some downsides from development, but still consider the considerable social and economic advantages quality housing offers.

“These solutions have been successfully used across the US and could help avoid lengthy planning appeals.”

John Lewis is looking to boost rental supply with developments above Waitrose supermarkets, which sit in the same group.

Russell went on to say that the UK is in need of a clear strategy on why building is needed.

She added: “It should be aligned with other major infrastructure projects so that we can leverage other public investments into green energy networks or transport hubs such as Crossrail or HS2.

“For example, our West Ealing scheme in west London — planning 428 homes and a new Waitrose — is just a short walk from the new Crossrail station.

“Having spent £19 billion on the Elizabeth Line, surely it makes sense to maximise its use and reduce commuting times by building densely around it? A national strategy should ensure every local plan mandates a quota of build-to-rent housing.”

She praised Asda, which is looking to adopt a similar strategy by utilising its land to boost housing supply.

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