Berlin to freeze rents for 5 years

“… Berlin’s state cabinet has agreed on a rent freeze for five years to counter rising housing costs in the German capital.

The city’s leftwing coalition government wants to freeze the rent for apartments built before 2014, according to a report by the German news agency dpa.

Only a minority of Berliners own their homes or apartments and rent has been rising sharply in recent years, forcing many to move outside the city. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/22/germany-berlin-cabinet-agree-five-year-rent-freeze?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

East Devon’s “North West Quadrant” of “linked villages” – or Exeter’s North East suburbs?

“The potential for strategic scale development in the North West Quadrant area of East Devon was identified and a network of linked villages, referred to as Clyst Villages, has been put forward

The concept of a ‘network of linked villages’ being built in the North West Quadrant area of East Devon will be investigated.

East Devon District Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday morning unanimously recommends to the Cabinet that East Devon supports the Exeter and East Devon garden communities status.

The Exeter bid would see around 12,000 new homes built in the city as part of the Liveable Exeter vision and has already been agreed by their council. …”

“The villages of Poltimore, Huxham, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Ebford, West Hill, Woodbury​, Woodbury Salterton, Exton and Farringdon would be most likely to be included as ones that could be expanded further, based on them being in the quadrant and close to existing infrastructure….”

Cllr Philip Skinner said: “We are going to have the housing numbers whether we like it or not, and we cannot put off and delay this as there is a much bigger vision than just focusing on that. This is a really exciting project and I hope people grasp it with the enthusiasm that I have so we get the good things for the area that we live in.

“This is an extremely important document that we should be signing up to this now and I am bang up for seeing this comes forward in the right way.” …

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/east-devon-could-getting-network-3454612

Abbeyfield care homes in Budleigh and Axminster under threat of closure

Owl says: The tip of a very big iceberg … with the Titanic speeding towards it.

“Devastated residents and families of those living at a care home which is under threat of closure fear it could result in the deaths of those who are very old and vulnerable.

Long-established Abbeyfield Shandford in Budleigh Salterton provides nursing and personal care for 28 people, and of those five are aged 100 or over. It employs 35 staff.

In January it first announced it was reviewing the service and then stated it would continue to be provided.

However, in September it began a consultation into the future of the home which will run until November.

Abbeyfield Society, who own the home, have said it will carefully consider all submissions from residents, relatives and staff before a final decision is made.

It has confirmed if a decision is made to close the home in Station Road, no residents will be expected to leave until January 2020 at the earliest.

The consultation has resulted in a petition being launched which has already been signed by hundreds of local residents. …

… “Abbeyfield have made out it’s a failing care home and needs huge upgrading and expenditure, but it doesn’t. The last inspection by the Care Quality Commission was this year and it was rated good.” …

[Abbeyfield spokesperson said] “In the case of Shandford, we carefully considered a number of factors, including whether the increasingly complex needs of residents can continue to be well served in a building which requires significant renovations to bring in it line with best-practice standards. …

“”This situation is further compounded by the long-term recruitment challenges we have faced, meaning that we have often relied on agency staff – despite the best efforts of the local management team. This not only places significant further financial pressures on the home at a time when the wider funding of social care is under strain, but also means we cannot always provide the continuity of care that residents deserve. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/deaths-feared-care-home-closed-3438701

The Great Help-to-Buy ripoff

“Building chiefs cash in on Help to Buy”

Bosses at Persimmon, Barratt and Bellway have been handed shares worth more than £12million.

Persimmon chief executive David Jenkinson exercised share options worth £10million under the housebuilder’s controversial bonus scheme, while two top Barratt executives received stock worth nearly £1million, and two Bellway bosses were handed performance-linked shares worth £1.6million.

The bonanza came just a day after Tony Pidgley, the founder and chairman of rival builder Berkeley, sold shares worth £42million.

His deal took the amount he has made from selling stock in the past two and half years to £166m.

Last night critics condemned the share awards, which came just a week after figures showed the rate of house building in the UK had hit a three-year low.

Developers such as Persimmon, Barratt and Bellway – but less so Berkeley – have also raked in record profits off the back of Help to Buy, a taxpayer-funded scheme that lends cash to buyers.

Reuben Young, a spokesman for housing campaign group Priced Out, said: ‘The scandal is these payouts are only made possible by Help to Buy, which has taken developer profits into the stratosphere by investing public money into rising house prices.’

Persimmon’s Jenkinson, 52, received 411,084 shares worth £9.7million at yesterday’s prices. After taxes he received 217,874 shares worth £5.2million and he is required to hold on to them for at last one year.

Barratt chief executive David Thomas received 64,182 shares worth £431,000 through a bonus plan and deputy chief Steven Boyes received 50,795 worth £341,000.

Bellway awarded 30,667 performance-linked shares worth about £1million to boss Jason Honeyman and 17,823 shares worth about £600,000 to finance chief Keith Adey.

The final amount of shares they receive will depend on whether they hit performance targets.

Meanwhile, Pidgley has sold shares in the past six months that have made him £79.2million.

That included 1m he sold in July for £37.2million and a further 1m on Tuesday for £42million, cashing in on his company’s rising share price.

The sales came after Pidgley previously sold a total of 2.5m shares for £86.8million in 2017 – taking the amount he has made since then to a staggering £166million.

The building firms declined to comment.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-7585531/Building-chiefs-cash-Help-Buy.html

PegasusLife says Knowle to retain age restriction (for now?)

“… When approached for a comment by the Herald, a PegasusLife spokesman said: “The approved scheme at Portishead has a very different level of care requirement in terms of hours of care required and scope of what is included in the definition of care compared to the Sidmouth development.

“We have no plans to submit an application to remove the age restriction or change the use class at Sidmouth.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/developers-pegasuslife-assure-the-same-won-t-happen-in-sidmouth-as-it-did-in-portishead-1-6325896

BUT PegasusLife is merging with two other companies

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/10/05/big-changes-for-pegasuslife-maybe-knowle-wont-be-retirement-homes/

and will soon be called “Lifestory” – will new brooms sweep in different directions?

Exmouth developer wants to build private houses before affordable ones …

Yeah, right … and then somehow the houses don’t get sold (maybe because people don’t know where the affordable houses will go if ever they are built) and then the affordables disapear … and then all high-cost housing gets built … and then suddenly they all sell …

Developer behind 36-home Exmouth scheme asks for more time to deliver last affordable dwellings – so it can sell private properties