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.”

“New homes in Devon are built so badly ‘children can remove cement with their fingernails’ “

Owl is confused. Isn’t EDDC’s Building Control department supposed to be passing or failing these new properties?

“The East Devon District Council meeting heard from Cllr Douglas Hull, who proposed the motion and said: “There are so many badly new built houses in East Devon and it is getting even worse”

The Government has been urged to prioritise a new property ombudsman to streamline complaints against shoddy builders as there are ‘so many badly new built houses in East Devon’.

Councillors on Wednesday unanimously voted to call on the government to fulfil its February 2018 pledge to provide the much needed remedy for homeowners as a matter of the highest priority.

The East Devon District Council meeting heard from Cllr Douglas Hull, who proposed the motion and said: “There are so many badly new built houses in East Devon and it is getting even worse.”

Cllr Hull added: “We have to have houses we can be proud of the region, and we have to say that enough is enough. We need to think about the people who end up buying second rate houses.”

He added that in some of the new houses, they are built so badly that small children with can rip out the cement with their fingernails, adding: “If you don’t believe me, try it yourself.”

Cllr Eleanor Rylance added: “We have a quality control issue with a lot of the houses, and then we have a problem with people are renting from a housing association who don’t feel that they can be complain as they will lose their house.

“Cranbrook is developer led but some developers are prone to get people to buy the property before everything is done.”

No developers were named during the meeting, but it has recently been confirmed that Persimmon Homes are carrying out fire safety barrier inspections in Cranbrook after it was found that some new build homes were missing them.

Cllr Ian Hall added: “Some of the building companies in this area just don’t care, and they have no shame.”

Cllr Geoff Pook, who has been involved in the building trade in East Devon, pledged his support for the motion.

The council unanimously agreed to urge the government to fulfil its pledge to introduce a new property ombudsman to streamline complaints against shoddy builders as soon as possible.”

Want to object (or support) plans for Axminster? Tough luck!

“I have now heard from 3 separate people that the EDDC Planning Website is not functioning properly and that submissions in objection to the planning applications can not be processed. I have asked EDDC Planning / IT to investigate immediately.

In the meantime, you can however submit by email to or to

And they will be treated as legitimate comments and uploaded to the website and considered by the planning department accordingly.

Best wishes.
Cllr. Paul Hayward.

Persimmon: Cranbrook is confirmed among developments being inspected for missing fire safety barrier inspections

“Persimmon Homes is continuing to carry out fire safety barrier inspections not just in Devon but across the South West and nationally after it was found homes were missing them, it has been confirmed.

The developer has not disclosed which housing developments it is inspecting, but it is now known Cranbrook, the new town in East Devon will have 6,551 homes by 2027, as well as Hill Barton Vale in Exeter, Coverdale in Paignton and even developments in Cornwall, are among them.

The issue was exposed following a ‘ferocious’ blaze which broke out in in one of its developments, Greenacres, and the Newcourt area near Topsham. Last April a fire in Trafalgar Road off Admiral Way and Topsham Road, last April, spread into the roof spaces of two of the adjoining properties. Both homes failed subsequent fire safety barrier inspections.

In an email shared with Devon Live by a Newcourt resident, Persimmon Homes stated last month it is continuing to inspect homes. Persimmon Homes South West suggested the pass rate in Newcourt is 59 per cent, and the majority of other sites are achieving a pass rate of over 90 per cent of plots inspected. …

…However, the developer has been criticised for taking too long to carry out inspections after being made aware of the issue, as well as for sending out inspection request letters to residents in Cranbrook on unheaded paper, and confusing residents by sending out duplicated inspection letters when their homes have already been investigated.

In the email, Richard Oldroyd, regional chairman of Persimmon Homes, said: “You have asked what we are doing nationally and I can confirm that further inspections are being completed, but I am unable to provide details at this stage.

“I can confirm that as we previously advised when we met we have increased the resource on this project to ensure we are able to complete the inspections in shorter timescales.

“As you are aware we had relied upon the National House Building Council (NHBC) as part of their building control service to ensure that the cavity barriers were correctly installed. As a result of this failure in process we have instigated our own additional checking regime to provide an additional compliance inspection.”