“‘Our new-build [Bovis] home has 354 defects’ “

“Two years after buying their £325,000 house from developers Bovis, Craig Wakeman and partner Tracey Bickford are still waiting to move in after discovering their dream home was riddled with 354 defects, many of them structural.

The couple told BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates buying the house was “one of the worst decisions we’ve ever made”.

Nine out of 10 new home buyers surveyed by the New Homes Review found defects in their houses.

Bovis apologised that the family’s “customer journey with us has been so disappointing over the last two years,” and said it was “completely focused on putting right what has gone wrong”. …

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46302905

Greendale industrial unit dog care business taken to court by EDDC

This took place in August 2018. The accompanying photograph is very upsetting. This is what can happen in an industrial unit. Perhaps the Greendale owners should audit their tenants:

“A dog day care business in Devon has been unsuccessful in appealing against an order and new rules after concerns were raised about the welfare of animals in its care.

A Dog’s Day Out, which is run from an industrial unit at Greendale Business Park in Woodbury Salterton, was found to have insufficient staffing levels for the number of dogs, a lack of beds which meant dogs were sleeping on concrete floors, and dogs and staff were being put at risk because they were being kept in large packs.

Reports received from former staff members, some dog owners and staff at East Devon District Council, said at times there were fewer than four staff looking after 65 dogs. …

It was deemed operators were not taking sufficient responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for the health, safety and well-being of the dogs.

To address the concerns, officers decided it was reasonable to require that the dogs were kept in groups of no more than 10 dogs, and staffing levels should be sufficient to ensure continual care throughout the day.

The conditions were included in the council’s 2018 licence for the business but the operator of A Dog’s Day Out appealed against them.

He said that the new conditions requiring the grouping of dogs was not reasonable and the animals should be allowed to run freely all day in what had become a very large pack of dogs.

The operator said that staff could be given the responsibility to separate out any dogs causing problems or needing quiet space, even when the licensee was not on site.

… An appeal hearing was recently held in Exeter. The witnesses were all of the view that the risk to dogs and staff was low if the dogs were allowed to function as one large group.

The magistrates decided that the council had been reasonable in imposing the conditions, which are similar to those included on other dog day care licences in East Devon, and dismissed the appeal.

Costs of almost £6,500 were awarded to the council.

… The owner and manager of A Dog’s Day Out is Dean Wilkinson describes itself as the south west’s premier day care centre for dogs. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/inside-dog-day-care-centre-1884523

Companies House shows that 4 other directors have resigned between 2015 and 2018 and that Mr Wilkinson gives a business address in Ottery St Mary.

Owners of Greendale object to planning conditions!

FWS Carter and Sons, the owners of Greendale Business Park, have asked East Devon District Council to reconsider two planning applications which were approved in Oct by the Development Management Committee. 17/2430/MFUL and 18/0920/FUL both being applications for Agricultural Buildings.

They are asking the Council to remove the suggested legal agreements to secure a non-alienation clause preventing their sale or letting to another party and requiring the buildings to remain in agricultural use.

The legal agreement was suggested by the District Councils Legal representative as an alternative way of ensuring that the buildings are used only for the agricultural and not converted to employment or industrial units in the future.

Councillors were concerned due to the previous history of unauthorised conversions of agricultural buildings to employment units at Hogsbrook Farm by the owners.

Since the application was agreed the owners have held meetings with the Legal Dept at EDDC claiming the legal agreements are “unnecessary and unreasonable”.

FWS Carter and Sons also consider the imposing the legal clause jeopardises the farm’s financing arrangements, restrict succession planning, prevent certain corporate organisations and unduly restricts the business in an uncertain economic climate.

The applicant is reported to have discussed the legal agreement with their bank lender to ascertain their position. The report claims the bank manager who has been a specialist agricultural lender since 1995 cannot recall a Legal 106 Agreement ever having been applied to a farm building before. The lender further noted that a S106 agreement could restrict the bank’s flexibility to enforce against its security and could reduce the value of the security. This would impact the bank’s lending on both the proposed buildings and the land.

There is a long history in relation to Agricultural units at both Greendale Business Park and now at nearby Hogsbrook Farm. There have been over 10 previous applications over a 30-year period by the applicant that due to the agricultural units not being commercially viable and therefore redundant or not being suitable they have applied for a change of use to industrial use. This has resulted in the continual growth from a farm holding to a large Business Park which is in the open countryside.

Previous attempts to curb this practice have failed following a Government Inspector overturning a previous planning refusal even when the agricultural unit had a planning condition attached to the planning approval only 10 years previously that if the agricultural use was no longer needed the unit was required to be removed.

The Planning Report states:

“The planning system has enough protection in terms of the use of the building to ensure that any new use would be assessed against planning policy, regardless of whether a section 106 was in place and it is considered that a non-alienation clause secured through a legal agreement is not now required.”

The report recommends to the Committee to support the applications without the need for a section 106 agreement.

Local Residents are concerned that the recent expansion at Hogsbrook Farm will eventually become a further Industrial Area just like Greendale Business Park did.

EDDC HQ builder in trouble

Owl says: better get that building up and snagged quickly!

“Interserve shares fall as growing debt sparks fears over its finances.

Shares in Interserve fell 7% on Friday morning after the government contractor said debts this year would be higher than previously expected, reigniting investor jitters about the financial health of the firm.

The company, which carries out building work and provides services such as cleaning, said debts would be between £625m and £650m by the end of the year, having earlier said debts would be £575m to £600m.

It comes a week after Interserve was forced to comment on the state of its finances, after shares tumbled to a 30-year low over fears it was heading the same way as Carillion, the rival outsourcing firm that collapsed in January.

The drop was prompted by an update from waste-to-product manufacturer Renewi, which said Interserve had missed a deadline on a joint venture in Derby that aims to produce energy from waste. The update prompted speculation that Interserve may be forced to set aside more cash to compensate for delays.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/23/interserve-shares-dive-as-growing-debt-sparks-fears-over-its-finances

East Devon – higher house prices, higher rents

“House prices in the area increased by 1.6 per cent in September, contributing to a 3.6 per cent rise over the last 12 months.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows the average property in the area sold for £286,529, significantly higher than the UK average of £232,554.

Across the South West, property prices have risen by 4.3 per cent in the last year, to £260,142.

The data comes from the House Price Index, which the ONS compiles using house sale information from the Land Registry.

The average homeowner in East Devon will have seen their property jump in value by around £53,000 in the last five years.

“A further increase in regional house prices makes positive reading, but in reality is disastrous for first time purchasers, and those already on the property ladder with ambitions to enhance their living accommodation,” said Exmouth estate agent Sarah Dunn.

“Having been working within the property industry for 34 years I personally have never seen so few first time buyers. Banks and building societies have pulled up their drawbridges and need to relax their lending criteria.

“Rents are totally disproportionate to the average monthly mortgage payment, and most first time buyers’ capacity to save is eaten away in high rents. Our next generation of first time buyers have been forced into rented accommodation for well over a decade now – new homes values are far too high.

“National developers need to start building ‘starter homes’ again, not small two bedroom houses crammed into small spaces, with no parking, and starting prices of £300,000.”

The figures also showed that buyers who made their first step onto the property ladder in East Devon in September spent an average of £220,486, around £40,000 more than it would have cost them five years ago.

Between August last year and July this year, the most recent 12 months for which sales volume data is available, 2,977 homes were sold in East Devon, 6 per cent fewer than in the previous year.”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/house-prices-disastrous-first-time-buyers-east-devon-1-5792077

12-year old Jacob Rees-Mogg on his ambitions and how he loves money

Here he is at 12 years old talking about his love for money and his hero:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-43922740/the-voice-of-the-12-year-old-jacob-rees-mogg

Owl says:

Matthew 21:16 (King James version)

“And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

Don’t think Jesus meant praise for the Conservative Party!

Oh, and his hero Arnold Weinstock?

“Arnold Weinstock spent 40 years building the General Electric Company into a British industrial powerhouse encircling the globe, selling power plants to China, locomotives to America and advanced radar systems to the Gulf. Weinstock’s style of management was frugal and unique. He prided himself on the company’s dingy headquarters at Stanhope Gate in the heart of London. Walls were never painted until they peeled. Visitors were offered water, not tea or coffee.

He would work in his sixth-floor office until late in the night, checking management accounts from dozens of subsidiary companies line by line. Managers lived in dread of the late-night call from the boss who insisted that every screw be properly accounted for.”

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-1551157/The-16311bn-wreckers.html