“Land values funding row set to throw Axminster masterplan and relief road plans into chaos”

As reported by Owl a week ago:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/11/29/axminster-master-plan-back-to-the-drawing-board-but-dont-upset-the-developers/

“A row over land values is set to scupper a masterplan that would see more than 800 new homes and the long-awaited relief road for Axminster built.

The Axminster North East Urban Extension masterplan for 850 homes was adopted in January, and also includes employment land, open spaces and community facilities.

It also included the £16.7m north-south relief road that aims to end the severe congestion, pollution and HGVs having to travel on the existing road that runs through the centre of the town.

East Devon District Council had successfully bid for a £10m Homes England Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) grant that would be used to help fund the delivery of the crucial new relief road, only for the government agency to change their mind and turn the grant into a loan. …

Outlining the situation in his report, Mr Freeman says that the land owners have been contacted but are unwilling to reduce their expectations.

The Crown Estate who own their land outright advised that the value attributed to their land is fixed by what they actually paid and cannot therefore be renegotiated, he said, adding the land owners whose land is optioned to Persimmon Homes were not willing to entertain this option, stating that if they could not realise their expected values they would simply continue to farm the land and await a more attractive offer in the future. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/land-values-funding-row-set-3608294

“Farmers convert land back to wildflower meadows in bid to cut carbon” (not East Devon’s Green candidate who has optioned some of his farming land to Persimmon!

What a contrast!

“Matthew Cooke, the Wildflower Farmer, believes a change is urgently needed to counter the influence of supermarkets and processors that demand more for less from the farming community, pressures that drive prices and negatively affect wildlife and the countryside.

With that, the Cooke family has taken the first act to convert their land to wildflower meadow. The family hope this act will be a catalyst for other farmers to return to wildflower meadows to help protect and benefit the environment. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/farmers-convert-land-back-wildflower-3575277

and

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/11/11/east-devon-green-party-candidate-who-is-selling-farm-land-to-big-developers-says-climate-change-is-his-priority/

Vote anything other than VERY GREEN Claire Wright and get Tory.

Persimmon in trouble for unsafe junction in Newton Abbot

“Persimmon Homes have been ordered to close an unsafe junction at a new Newton Abbot housing estate.

From next Monday, bollards will be installed blocking access to Larkspur Drive from and from Mile End Road at the new Hele Park estate.

The junction has been left with a substantially obstructed by a nearby garden wall and as a result is not considered safe. Revised plans to improve the traffic situation between the junctions of Ashburton Road and Applegarth Avenue were approved but never implemented so the planning permission lapsed. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/persimmon-ordered-shut-unsafe-junction-3499209

Persimmon in the deep, deep manure yet again on leasehold houses

“Persimmon is heading for a bitter showdown with families who claim the housebuilder mis-sold them homes on toxic leasehold deals.

Hundreds of its customers bought leasehold houses and now claim they are trapped by ratcheting rent bills that have made it impossible to sell.

But the company, which is the UK’s most profitable developer, is playing hardball and has told desperate customers that it ‘does not accept’ their complaints.

Along with other developers, Persimmon has been banned from selling leasehold houses after a public outcry.

Persimmon and others were accused of charging extortionate ground rents, some of which rose dramatically over time, along with a raft of hidden charges.

Leaseholders effectively buy the right to live in a property for an agreed period, rather than ownership of it outright.

However, an inquiry by MPs earlier this year found that many leaseholders did not appear to have fully understood the deal.

In a recent row with Cardiff council, Persimmon was accused of mis-selling leasehold homes. It offered residents the freeholds to their properties at no charge as part of an out-of-court settlement.

Campaigners now argue all its leasehold customers across the country should receive similar compensation.

But in a letter sent to customers and seen by the Mail, the company rejected claims householders were misled.

It claimed staff would have explained the terms of the homes to customers during the sales process, that their solicitor should have advised them about it and that mortgage lenders would have also assessed the property at the time.

A separate survey by the Solicitors Regulation Authority also found one fifth of people sold leasehold properties were not even told the difference between leasehold and freehold homes.

MPs called for an investigation into possible mis-selling. They lambasted solicitors for being too cosy with developers and failing to warn clients about the rip-off deals.

Following their report, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a probe.

Sir Gary Streeter, Tory MP for South West Devon, accused the firm of telling ‘blatant’ lies to leaseholders in Plymouth, part of his constituency, during the sales process.

A Persimmon spokesman insisted the decision to ‘gift’ ownership to leaseholders in Cardiff was ‘not to do with the mis-selling of leasehold properties’, adding: ‘We firmly dispute the fact that the customers were not aware the properties were being sold on a leasehold basis.

Any suggestion that the decision by Persimmon to gift the freeholds was in relation to mis-selling of leaseholds is false and misleading.’

‘All customers buying leasehold properties are informed by the sales team at the time of purchase that the properties are leasehold and not freehold.’

‘It feels like we have been tricked’

Grandparents Noelle and Alf Lutton bought their five-bedroom home three years ago for £250,000 – but they have still been asking for problems to be fixed

Noelle and Alf Lutton claim the punitive terms of their leasehold home were not made clear to them by Persimmon.

The grandparents bought their five-bedroom home three years ago for £250,000 – but they have still been asking for problems to be fixed.

In addition, they face having to pay £150 in ground rent every year – a rate that increases every decade – and must fork out so-called ‘permission fees’ of £250 if they want to make even minor changes to the property.

They claim they were never told they would have to pay these charges. Former customer services worker Mrs Lutton, 75, says the couple had always previously lived in freehold properties but were not given that option when buying their current home in Market Deeping, near Peterborough.

Instead, they say a Persimmon sales representative verbally promised they could buy the freehold for ‘a couple of hundred pounds’ two years after the initial sale.

But Persimmon later quoted them a price of £3,750. And although it later reduced this to £500, the company insists they would still have to pay permission fees even if they now acquired the freehold.

‘Had we known then what we know now, we would never have bought the property,’ Mrs Lutton said. ‘We weren’t told about any of the fees we would have to pay. It feels like we have been tricked.’

A Persimmon spokesman said: ‘The details of the ground rent, associated fees and covenants were included within the contract and documentation at the time of purchase.

‘Following completion, Mr and Mrs Lutton raised a number of snagging issues with their property. The last one of these is due to be addressed shortly.’ “

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-7560423/Housebuilder-Persimmon-fresh-row-toxic-leases.html?ito=rss-flipboard

“Persimmon faces wave of claims that it mis-sold properties with toxic leaseholds”

“Britain’s most profitable housebuilder faces a flood of claims that it mis-sold toxic leasehold properties.

Persimmon made ‘deliberate misrepresentations’ when selling homes on leases, MPs and families say.

They are calling on the developer, which made a £1.1billion profit last year and handed former boss Jeff Fairburn a bonus of £75million, to surrender full ownership of the properties to compensate buyers said to have been misled.

The demands erupted after Persimmon backed down in a court battle over allegations of mis-selling.

In an out-of-court settlement reached last month with Cardiff council, Persimmon agreed to give leaseholders in the St Edeyrns development outright ownership of their properties as a ‘goodwill gesture’.

The defeat has been seized on by campaigners, who say leaseholders across the UK should get similar compensation.

And it comes as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probes claims that housebuilders may have mis-sold leases.

Katie Kendrick, of the National Leasehold Campaign, said: ‘We are hopeful that the CMA and others can now use this example to build a future mis-selling case on behalf of leaseholders.’

A lease grants the right to live in a property for an agreed period, not ownership of it outright. Leaseholders can face extortionate ground rents and fees to make small changes.

The Cardiff case has led leaseholders in Plymouth and Cheltenham to demand they get similar treatment.

Sir Gary Streeter, Tory MP for South West Devon, has warned Persimmon that he will report it to trading standards, complain to ministers and shame it in Parliament if it does not agree.

Persimmon has so far rejected suggestions it should offer similar deals.

A spokesman last night said of the Cardiff case: ‘We firmly dispute the fact that the customers were not aware the properties were being sold on a leasehold basis.’ “

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-7487335/Persimmon-faces-wave-claims-mis-sold-properties-toxic-leaseholds.html