“Housebuilder Persimmon faces new investor revolt over ‘highly excessive’ pay”

“Housebuilder Persimmon is braced for a fresh revolt over its controversial bonuses after shareholder advisers urged investors to vote against the company’s ‘highly excessive’ pay.

Advisory group PIRC has instructed investors to oppose the pay report for a second year running at the annual meeting early next month.

Last year, the FTSE 100 company narrowly escaped defeat over its bonus scheme for top bosses, but still suffered a major rebellion.

The scheme included a bonus worth more than £100million for former boss Jeff Fairburn that was trimmed to around £75million after a public backlash. The bonus pot was boosted by the taxpayer-funded Help to Buy scheme.

Persimmon, led by new chairman Roger Devlin, has attempted to draw a line under the scandal by trimming the overall payouts, ousting Fairburn, ensuring that all staff are paid more than the living wage, and making steps towards improving the quality of its homes.

Two other advisory firms Glass Lewis and ISS have both backed changes made by Devlin.

A Persimmon spokesman said the company understood ‘the need for pay restraint and spent 2018 working to ensure Persimmon’s future remuneration is clearly aligned with best practice’.”


“Persimmon launches review in drive to rebuild its image

Surely if homes are built properly, at the right price and without greedy director bonuses very little customer care would be needed and no culture change would be required! And if you can’t build enough decent houses due to skills deficits, you set up a training scheme OR build fewer houses.

That will be £1 million consultancy fee for Owl within 14 days, please.

“The UK’s most profitable housebuilder, Persimmon, is launching an independent review of its customer care, culture and the quality of its work as it attempts to move on from an executive pay scandal and complaints over its new-build homes.

The review, to be led by an independent chair, Stephanie Barwise QC of Atkin Chambers, will look into Persimmon’s customer care approach, systems and culture, quality assurance processes, and the speed and consistency of its response to issues. It said the findings would be published by the last quarter of 2019.

Persimmon faced an investor revolt last year after a pay scheme tying rewards to share price performance c aused a furore, with £500m in bonuses paid out to 150 executives amid a sector-record annual profit of £1.1bn on the back of the government’s help to buy scheme. …”


Persimmon retention deal – is it a good deal?

“I know that Persimmon has today, for example, announced the fact that they are going to be the first major housebuilder to bring in a retention idea, so some money will be retained by the buyer’s solicitors to deal with issues if there is anything that comes forward in the future. We’re putting enormous pressure on the housing industry to generally improve standards, particularly with regard to fire safety, and we’ll be reviewing building regulations later in the year to make sure that we get it right.”
Kit Malthouse, Housing Minister

NO, NO, NO says Owl!! It’s a fixed percentage of the purchase price!


Persimmon: at least 1,000 south-west homes built without required fire barriers

New homes built by Persimmon missing fire safety barriers.

Homes built by one of the UK’s largest developers were constructed without essential barriers to slow the spread of fire.

Regulations dictate the flame-resistant material must be installed in roof spaces and wall cavities.

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes found it was missing from some properties on estates in south-west England.

It has written to more than 1,000 people to say their homes need to be checked.

One resident in Truro, Cornwall, said his house “is potentially a massive fire risk”.

The homeowner, who did not want to be named, said recent inspections of his five-year-old house revealed “a vast amount” of fire were barriers missing.
“I’m extremely concerned because I have a family, including two children, living in this house,” he said.

Some of the homes affected are on a Persimmon-built estate in Exeter where a fire last year “rapidly escalated” as it spread between properties.

Speaking about the blaze, Cornwall councillor Dulcie Tudor said it had spread “through to the roofs of the adjoining houses”.

Homes without cavity barriers “act like a chimney” in the event of a fire, she said, and called for work on all Persimmon Homes developments to be halted until the faults have been rectified.

Fire safety consultant Alan Cox said blazes “could easily travel from one compartment or property to another” if there were missing barriers “at roof level”.

A spokesperson said the firm had “identified this as an issue in its south west region” and had “carried out a full check of more than 1,100 timber frame properties and checks are ongoing”.

“However, while investigations are live we are not in a position to advise of the results”.

Persimmon includes Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset within the south-west region.

The company did not confirm whether there were any issues in other parts of the country.
Cornwall Council said its enforcement powers were limited because it had not inspected the homes when they were built.

Repeated breaches of building regulations can result in the developer being taken to court by a local authority.”


“Persimmon Homes missing fire safety barriers confirmed in Cornwall as well as Devon”

“A Persimmon Homes family say their home is like living in a chimney, after discovering vital fire safety barriers were missing from their home.

The owner of the property, who wished to remain anonymous, asked for his property in Truro to be inspected after reading of the safety issues with homes in Exeter on Devon Live.

In January, a Persimmon Homes whistleblower urged all home owners to have their properties inspected after claiming the problem is widespread. Up until then, the building firm had only confirmed properties in one of its developments, Greenacres, and the Newcourt area near Topsham, had failed inspections.

The whistleblower – a Persimmon Homes employee – alleged the issue was not confined to the one development. Among other developments the employee claimed could also fail inspections were:

Coverdale, Paignton
Harford Mews, Ivybridge
Hill Barton Vale, Exeter
Agusta Park, Yeovil
Heathfield Gardens, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton
Chilmark Glade, Shaftesbury

Since then failures have also been reported at Persimmon Homes in East Devon new town Cranbrook, and now at Lowen Bre in Truro – which is the first confirmation the issue has been highlighted in Cornwall as well as Devon.

The issue was exposed following a ‘ferocious’ blaze which broke out in Trafalgar Road off Admiral Way and Topsham Road, last April, which spread into the roof spaces of two of the adjoining properties.

After reading the whistleblower’s recommendations on Devon Live, the owner of a house in Lowen Bre asked Persimmon Homes to inspect their five-year-old home, when cavity barriers were found to be missing, as well as stops and socks which prevent the spread of fire through walls and floors.

The owner, who asked not to be named, said: “My house is like a chimney because if there was a fire it would spread pretty quick through it. It’s negligence by Persimmon Homes and the National House Building Council (NHBC) who have signed the property off.

“After our home failed the inspection a few days later they returned and they were put in place, but I’m also missing about 50 per cent around the windows. We have 20 odd windows and doors.”

The development the owner lives on has about 160 homes and it is believed letters have been sent to some of its residents.

The home owner said: “I want to make everyone in the development aware of the issue so that they can get their home checked.

“As a national house builder, Persimmon Homes have a duty of care to ensure their homes are built correctly and I feel that this issue shows a lack of adhering to building regulations.

“We have lived in our property since October 2013. All this time we have been at constant risk due to the required fire safety details not being installed. With children in the house whose bedrooms are both on the top floor, it makes this situation even more unbelievable.”

The builder has already come under fire by residents after their voiced their frustrations after it took four years for work began on its promised as a condition of its planning permission.

Residents said they had to endure countless promises of start dates from Persimmon Homes for work at the playground to begin which were then broken the company.

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “The development as a whole is being inspected as part of the ongoing process. As Persimmon Homes has already confirmed it has committed to a thorough inspection process to ensure the required standards are met and is undertaking remedial work wherever the need is identified.

“Persimmon Homes has a dedicated team in place to deal with any remedial work that is required, and customers on any of our developments can make contact at any time if they have concerns.”

Persimmon Homes did not provide a response to the following questions:

1. Of those inspected so far in Lowen Bre how many ave passed?

2. A list of development where inspections are being carried out in Cornwall, Devon and across the country.

3. The results of those inspections so far.

A spokesman for the NHBC said it had not received any contacts or claims concerning fire safety barriers at Lowen Bre in Truro.

He said: “Any homeowners with an NHBC Buildmark policy who have concerns about this issue can contact our claims team who will be happy to provide them with advice and support. As the UK’s leading warranty provider we care passionately about the quality of new homes.

“We work with builders to help them improve the construction quality of the homes they build for the benefit of our policyholders, the homeowners.

“NHBC’s inspection regime is not a replacement for the builder’s own quality control checks and obligations to build in accordance with building regulations.”