Homeowners have won a battle against retail giant John Lewis after stopping construction of a dozen affordable homes.
The retailer was forced to abandon development after saying there was “a significant level of opposition to the program” in a letter to the parish council.
Residents feared that the development of the 12 new houses would be too large and lead to increased traffic.
Many young people in the area had hoped that John Lewis’ plan would create affordable housing in an area they wanted to live.
The average property in Longstock, where John Lewis also owns a farm shop and cafe, was £ 1million in 2020, an 8% increase over the past five years.
A group of aging owners in Longstock (pictured) have won a battle with retail giant John Lewis for control of their village as they halt construction of a dozen cheap homes
John Lewis already owns a cafe and farm shop in the village of Longstock, where he had hoped to build 12 affordable homes
Almost half of Longstock’s population is aged 40 to 69 out of a total of 475 people, an average higher than in the rest of the borough.
The company had planned to build the houses with the parish council and Rural England, but was not going to develop them directly.
A spokesperson for John Lewis said he was “determined to find a solution to provide affordable housing” in the area and is currently considering other sites.
“The decision not to make progress on the Church Lane site is not a decision we have taken lightly.
“There was no clear local majority in favor of development, which is a key step for us and something we have pledged to adhere to given our heritage here and our role in the village. ”
Company president Dame Sharon White had hoped to build 12 new houses for rent in Longstock, Hampshire, with the aim of relying less on retail and more on renting social housing.
Last year it made clear its intention to make 40 percent of profits over the next ten years outside of retail stores.
The company has a large property portfolio in the nearby village of Leckford, Hampshire
Even Tory Romsey and Southampton MP Caroline Nokes backed the plan in May.
She said one of the main challenges for the young and old in the village is having affordable housing available.
The John Lewis partnership hopes to develop 10,000 rental homes over the next ten years under this plan.
Although John Lewis has cut his losses in the past year by £ 606million from £ 635million in September 2020 to £ 29million in the same month this year, the company remains in debt at 1, £ 7 billion.
Much rests on bumper Christmas sales after recording a loss of £ 29million in the first half of 2021.
Their recent conflicts, caused by the pandemic that brought down retail, have only cemented their vision of stepping back from retail in favor of real estate.