John Lewis DROPS plans to build 12 affordable homes in Hampshire village due to ‘significant level of opposition’ from locals over increase in traffic
- John Lewis’s plans to build 12 affordable homes failed in Leckford, Hampshire
- Ageing locals said the new builds would cause more traffic through the village
- There are 113 people in Leckford, many of whom opposed the retail giant’s plan
A group of ageing homeowners has won a battle against retail giant John Lewis for control of their village as they stopped the building of a dozen cheap homes.
The company’s chair, Dame Sharon White, had hoped to build 12 new homes to rent out in Leckford, Hampshire, in a bid to rely less on retail and more on letting out social housing.
Last year she made clear her intention to make 40 per cent of profits in the next ten years outside of retail shops.
Ageing homeowners in Leckford, Hampshire, won a battle against retail giant John Lewis for control of their village as they stopped the building of a dozen cheap homes
The retail giant had hoped to start its project of devekoping 10,000 homes across the UK in the next ten years
The John Lewis partnership hopes to develop 10,000 homes to rent out in the next ten years as part of that plan.
Although John Lewis cut its losses in the past year by a whopping £606million from £635million in September 2020 to £29million in the same month this year, the company remains in £1.7billion of debt.
Much is resting on bumper Christmas sales after it posted a £29million loss in the first half of 2021.
Their recent strife, caused by the pandemic sending retail plummeting, only cemented their vision to step back from the retail business in favour of real estate.
Yet in Leckford the plans for just 12 new homes in a street called Church Lane, off the main street, were foiled because of what John Lewis called ‘a significant level of opposition to the scheme’ in a letter to the parish council.
The last census put Leckford’s population at just 113 people, the vast majority of whom are ageing and protested against John Lewis’s plans because of the extra traffic they said it would create in the village.
A John Lewis spokesman said it was ‘committed to finding a solution to deliver affordable housing’ in the area and it was currently considering alternative sites.
Just 1.9 miles away is Longstock, where John Lewis already owns a cafe and a farm shop
‘The decision not to progress with the Church Lane site is not one we took lightly.
‘There was not a clear local majority in support of the development, which is a key measure for us and something we promised to adhere to given our heritage here and role within the village.’
Just 1.9 miles away in Longstock, where John Lewis has a cafe and farm shop, average property prices stood at £1million in 2020, which was an eight per cent rise over the past five years, according to Zoopla.
Many young people in the area had hoped John Lewis’s plan would create affordable housing in an area they wanted to live in.
However, the wait to get onto the first rung of the housing ladder is set to continue as long as Leckford’s villagers maintain their opposition to the new builds.
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