Tag Archives: Persimmon

Persimmon’s Increase Profits 30% – Land Bank nears 100,000 Sites!

Persimmon has eyes on Castle Point. Their Jotmans Farm proposal, turned down by the Secretary of State, is due to be challenged on Appeal in the High Court.

Previously they have Withdrawn their proposal for 265+ dwellings at East of Canvey Road, Canvey Island.

Persimmon’s half year returns indicate a startling uplift in Profits And Land Bank sites!

One of the UK’s largest house builder has increased its profits by 30% as its Land Bank nears 100,000 Sites!

Telegraph Business Reported;

FTSE 100 housebuilder Persimmon has reported a 30pc jump in profits in the first half of the year as it avoided the effects of a slowdown in the housing market.
Persimmon’s pre-tax profits rose 30pc to £457.5m in the six months ended June 30, while revenues were up 12pc to £1.66bn.
It built 556 new homes in the period, an increase in completions of 8pc to a total 7,794, as it made the business more efficient. Its average selling price rose 4pc to £213,262.
“The market remains confident,” said chief executive Jeff Fairburn. “Customer interest in our developments remains strong with encouraging levels of interest through both our websites and our sales outlets as we trade through the quieter summer weeks.

“Whilst we remain vigilant to changes in market conditions we also recognise we are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that arise.”

However the company said it would “remain cautious” when it comes to investing in new land, primarily due to Brexit-induced uncertainty facing the economy.

It was boosted by the Government-backed scheme Help to Buy, which Anthony Codling, an analyst at Jefferies, said was “acting as a bullet-proof vest for the new-build sector allowing it to ride above the challenges faced by the second hand market”.

 He added: “Persimmon [is] continuing to balance the market’s appetite for more new homes with investors’ desires for higher cash returns”.

The housebuilding giant sells around half of its homes using the scheme, which allows buyers to purchase a new-build property with a 5pc deposit. Earlier this month, Persimmon’s share price fell 6.6pc in one day after a news report suggested that Help to Buy could be ended before its planned date of 2021. After the Government confirmed it would not, the share price rebounded.

Mr Fairburn said: “We should take confidence from the fact the scheme works very well. It does what it was intended to do. The Government should be pleased it stimulated housebuilding, and more people can buy new houses.”

Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The latest results from Persimmon have a bit of swagger about them, and well they might, with profits rising by almost a third despite a slowdown in economic growth.

“The UK housebuilding sector is still sitting pretty, with interest rates staying low, the Help to Buy scheme supporting demand, and a lack of supply helping to boost prices.”

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Castle Point Residents Ill-informed or Gullible? Green Belt Saved or still in Jeopardy?

Be In No Doubt Canvey Island residents stand to be affected by the development of Jotmans Farm, as much as the Jotmans Farm residents do themselves!

Once all phases of the Jotmans Farm proposal is completed there is a plan to construct a Roundabout to allow traffic from the 800 dwelling estate, onto Canvey Way!

sadlersjpeg

Not only that, but the much Heralded retail extension nearby Morrisons on Canvey Island with the promised Marks and Spencer / Waitrose food, B and M and Sports Direct outlets, will add more Motorists Misery, entering and leaving via the Waterside Farm Roundabout and the local areas!

Recently the Jotmans farm Green Belt campaigners have been left to “discover” that Persimmons have decided to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision in the High Court.

The Secretary of State’s decision, generally portrayed to Residents as being a signal that not only Jotmans Farm, but also Green Belt in General, was Saved from Development, was Released on the 21st April 2017.

And so we headed for the Polling Stations, on the 4th May for the Castle Point Borough Council Elections and the General Election on the 8th June.

Possibly, Unfortunately the Election Period of Purdah may play some legal significance.* See below.

Through an email released by the Jotmans Farm campaign group, we gather that they are being led to believe that none of the Lead Group of Castle Point councillors were aware, or felt it unimportant to make the information known to Residents, that High Court action threatened the Jotmans Farm Decision!

Castle Point Council are an “Interested Party” in the High Court action. One only has to refer to the Glebelands case to be aware that CPBC should be involved:

Case No: CO/10476/201

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION

ADMINISTRATIVE COURT

 Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Date: 17/01/2014

Before :

THE HON MR JUSTICE BLAKE

Between:

 

FOX LAND AND PROPERTY LIMITED

Claimant

 

– and –

 

 

SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

-and-

CASTLE POINT BOROUGH COUNCIL

 

 

 

Defendants

Would the Castle Point officers not have immediately informed the Lead councillors, could the councillors not have been Open and Transparent and informed their Residents, of the Legal move?

In the Echo newspaper it is reported that Jotmans farm residents clutch at the possibility that the Persimmon legal team, left it beyond the 6 weeks to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision. CPBC appear to leave this desperate hope hanging.

In our humble opinion we find it inconceivable, not only that the Persimmon legal team would be so inefficient, surely the challenge would have been dismissed should the 6 week time limit to challenge the decision have elapsed, but that some lead group Castle Point councillors to be unaware cpbc are an Interested Party in the High Court case!

CPBC are quoted in the Echo “As the Appeal is actually against the decision of the Secretary of State it is for the secretary of State to defend.” …..”councillors have been kept informed…”

We fear on behalf of Jotmans Farm and Canvey Island residents, on whom this development will impact upon, that the release date of the Secretary of State’s decision and the dates of the Local Elections may well have had some influence, as well as having some legal impact.

* “The term ‘purdah’ is in use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The terms ‘pre-election period’ and ‘period of sensitivity’ are also used.
The pre-election ‘purdah’ period before general elections is not regulated by statute, but governed by conventions based largely on the Civil Service Code.
The pre-election period for the 8 June General Election will start on midnight on Friday 21 April 2017.
A ministerial statement gave details of the different ‘purdah’ periods for the different elections on 5 May 2016: The period of sensitivity preceding the local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections starts on 14 April”
Source: House of Commons Library Published Friday, April 21, 2017

A Tactical Withdrawal, temporary Reprieve? What is going on at Castle Point Council and its Local Plan?

In a letter from Castle Point Council, dated 31st May 2017, we learn of the latest developments in the Persimmons proposal to develop the Dutch Village Green Belt;

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Proposal: Erect up to 275 new homes and retail/community facilities (use classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, C2 and/or D1) with new roundabout junction onto A130 Canvey Road, associated parking, open space, ecological enhancements, landscaping, drainage and flood mitigation measures (outline)
Location: Land To The East Of Canvey Road Canvey Island Essex

 

I refer to my consultation letter in respect of the above application and write to advise you that the application has been withdrawn and the Council will not therefore take any further action in the matter.

 

I thank you for your interest in the proposal and I will ensure that you are consulted again if a further application is submitted in the future.

 

Yours faithfully,

S Rogers

Head of Regeneration & Neighbourhoods

Canvey Flooding, safe escape route too Congested?

Canvey residents are often questioned whether they are scaremongering when they express concerns over flooding and emergency issues. Now we learn through the Echo that CPBC’s own emergency planner has expressed concern that both the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority remain concerned over potential flooding issues at Persimmon’s proposed development at the Dutch Village Canvey.

Floods 2014 pic via Police Helicopter

View of Canvey Island flooding from Police Helicopter July 2014

This apparent “good news” must be treated with some caution as the developer appears confident that the concerns can all be addressed.

The cpbc emergency planner has requested a copy of the evacuation plan, although a copy can be found on the cpbc planning portal.

Extracts from the developer Persimmon’s emergency Evacuation Plan may be of interest;

“The developer’s reasonability (Freudian slip, perhaps?) will end upon completion of the construction of the site.”

“Residents should remain in their dwellings until the emergency services or statutory bodies have advised that it is safe to leave. This could be for a pre-longed period of time (days rather than hours).”

“Whilst occupants can potentially remain at the site services such as water supply, sewerage, electricity and gas will be affected in the area and occupants are unlikely to be able to use these facilities”

The “Safe Escape Route” is indicated as being via Canvey Road to Waterside Roundabout and onto Canvey Way.

It has already been assessed, although not included within the Local Plan Evidence base, that an Evacuation of Canvey Island might take 19 hours.

The continued development in areas prone to flooding is an abuse, by developers and local authorities of the Flood RE insurance scheme.

Surely the continued intention of castle point council to increase the numbers of people at Risk of Flooding must be considered unacceptable.

rebecca_harris_mp_flood_free_homes

Echo newspapers coverage can be viewed via this LINK.

Canvey Dutch Village, Green Belt development back on the Scene!

For those Canvey residents that believe either the CPBC Local Plan consultation is not worth bothering about or that Large Development has gone away, you should be aware that our local council officers and Persimmons have been very busy behind the scenes working on the next Big Spanner in the Works in the Local Plan process!

Whether our “professional” officers should be spending time at our expense continuing to work on planning issues that, at least at present, appear to be clearly outside of the Local Plan 2016 proposals and Planning Guidance, is open to conjecture.

Those that believe a Neigbourhood Plan is too expensive, hard work and time consuming may have also missed an opportunity to have planned for Canvey’s future.

So whilst the Local plan 2016 may show just 760 new dwellings planned for Canvey, let us not forget those other flats and houses on the many small sites across the Island, PLUS whatever other plans that Developers, certain councillors and officers have for our Green Spaces, Plus the two large Industrial developments!

Those that believe the traffic issues have been bad these last few weeks, may need to think again.

IMG_0156 (2)

This email was added to the CPBC Planning Portal this week. It indicates that Persimmon have ditched Pegasus as Agents and have taken the East of Canvey Road, Dutch Village 275 dwelling project, back in-house!

From: Woodger, Mark

Sent: 7 Jun 2016 14:58:04 +0000

To: Kim Fisher;Steve Rogers;Keith Zammit

Dutch Village Canvey Island and Planning Application CPT/15/496

Good afternoon Ms Fisher.
I mail with reference to the above planning application.
As a brief introduction I work as a Senior Planner at Persimmon Homes Essex and have been in post since January.
In the last few months I have been dealing with your colleague Keith Zammit and Steve Rogers but I now understand that you are the lead officer who will be taking this application to Committee.
We’ve also had an organisational change here at Persimmon and we are no longer using Pegasus as our planning agents, it now falls to me to deal with our application. My objective is to see that all technical constraints can be mitigated as part of our proposals. There are currently 2 outstanding issues – Flooding, which has an outstanding objection from the EA and Highways, which have not commented on the application.
We are moving towards resolving these issues and wanted to offer you an update on both matters:
Flooding We have been working with our consultants in consultation with the Environment Agency to overcome what is shown on your website as an objection from the EA on the grounds of flood risk at this time.
It will be known to you that the EA have also recently published some new flood modelling data. This has meant that we have had to do a considerable amount of work to assess and model what impact this has had on our proposals. We have had to look at what mitigation we can put in place to ensure that the site is safe in terms of flood risk, and that our development does not prejudice flooding on any neighbouring sites.
We hope to have the additional details to you within 10 days and this will give you the opportunity to then consult the EA before making your recommendation with all the facts available to you. We have had verbally received approval from the EA for the changes to our proposals following the publication of the new modelling data and are therefore confident that we overcome the current objection.
Highways ECC have yet to issue their consultation response. We are continuing to chase this and have been verbally told they have no concerns and will not be objecting to our proposals.
These works are nearing completion and I would be grateful if we could agree an extension of time now to allow for the application to be presented at the August committee.
Persimmon Homes are committed to the application and your consideration of the above would be of value to us.
Kind regards.
Mark Woodger BSc, Cert Man, MRTPI Senior Planner

A Race Against Time?CPBC new New Local Plan and Green Belt protection!

This month’s Cabinet meeting agenda has been released with no mention of an updated Local Development Scheme programme.

The current version dated January 2014 indicates that the Castle Point Local Plan was expected to be processed within this schedule:

Examination                                        Dec 2014
Inspectors Report                               Feb 2015
Adoption                                             Mar 2015

Clearly this has faltered and we await a new look Local Plan based on:

Motion 1 (removal of some Green Belt sites for housing development ) 

To alter the draft Local Plan to prioritise protecting Green Belt over meeting our objectively assessed housing needs and  remove all virgin green belt sites listed without current planning permission, including sites listed in the Castle Point SHLAA 2014 (22 sites).

With the due date, 16th March or earlier, for the Secretary of State’s ruling on the Jotmans Farm Green Belt development Enquiry, fast approaching, it is interesting that CPBC do not feel the need to release an updated programme for the new New Local Plan during the Cabinet meeting.

Much weight appeared to be placed upon the requirement of consistent progress being made with the Local Plan process and reference made by the developer’s legal team that CPBC have failed in this requirement.

It is unclear whether the Secretary of State has made contact with CPBC as to progress of our Local Plan during his considerations.

We must assume that the Government’s End Date of 2017 for Local Plan’s, has over ridden the CPBC Local development Scheme programme and schedule, otherwise why would CPBC not issue a new schedule ahead of the Jotman’s decision being released?

We cannot expect the Persimmon’s legal team to not object to any extension to the SoS’s decision being released, nor an acceptance that time being afforded for the Local Plan to continue until 2017 for Examination, prior to them seeking judicial review.

A clear statement and release of a Local Plan schedule may appear the minimum requirement necessary, especially ahead of the May local elections.

Commitment to the protection of Green Belt is admirable, but notice of intent will be the minimum first step towards maintaining the confidence of the Inspectorate and local residents.

Canvey Island, more like Fantasy Island! Persimmon put temptation in Castle Point’s way.

Persimmon’s proposal to develop  the Dutch Village fields has recently received added inducements to tempt the Castle Point council Development Committee members to support the scheme.

The inducements come under the guise of additional evidence in support of the Very Special Circumstances required to allow development, and come in the form of;

Safe Vehicle Access to Cornelius Vermuyden School

Additional Leisure services at Waterside Leisure Centre

A Pelican Crossing across Canvey Way (?) to the RSPB reserve

Lack of 5 year housing supply

Surface Water Drainage and Evacuation Zone

Public Open Space and Ecological Mitigation Land

Scheduled Ancient Monument Enhancements

Persimmon’s document draws attention to the existing surface water drainage problems on site and the possibility of “a major flood!”

In the circumstances the identification of the Dutch Village as site high on the list of sites suitable for development, appears questionable.

The offer of vehicular access to the senior school appears to encourage laziness of pupils and obesity due to lack of basic walking to school exercise. The timing of the submission of this latest inducement document is somewhat questionable. The Report refers to a meeting having taken place between Persimmon’s agents and CPBC during October 2015. As we are aware debates on the CPBC Local Plan took place during December 2015 and January 27th 2016, this additional Report was added to the Planning Portal (made public) February 3rd.

It could be questioned by some that if this information had become available just a few days earlier, one of the main supporters of the now rejected draft New Local Plan may have been required to declare an Interest given how strict the Interests consideration had been applied for the meeting, being a Governor of the School likely to benefit from the proposed new road access.

Persimmon’s Report acknowledges that unmet Housing Need is unlikely to constitute a Very Special Circumstance to justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt, as Castle Point residents have learned through recent Planning Inquiries.

Despite this the report’s author then goes onto examine the meaning of the word “unlikely” and how the word suggests that there will be some rare occasions when housing need will constitute a Very Special Circumstance.

It may be reasonable also to suggest that if Green Belt land in the same Borough outside of a Flood Zone did not constitute the necessary Very Special Circumstances (VSC) to allow development, then Green Belt land inside the Flood Zone should also not be considered to constitute the VSC’s necessary!

The little used RSPB Reserve, has a badly sited entrance, likely to become more dangerous with the approval of the Business Development sites off of Roscommon Way. I have pointed out the dangers to officers on more than one occasion. The offer of a Pelican Crossing is inadequate and will remain a danger to youngsters attempting to cross the dual carriageway Canvey Road. Will this encourage more to attend the RSPB reserve, is questionable.

Development Committee members will be aware of the financial difficulties developers have in even providing the agreed level of Affordable Housing, following their agreeing to cut the requirement at the apparently affluent Kiln Road development.

The list of inducements at the Dutch Village may equally be difficult for the developer to supply.

These now include amongst others;

A new Roundabout access on Canvey Road

Sustainable Urban Drainage System

Affordable Housing contribution

A Pelican Crossing to the RSPB Reserve

In an area with lower market House Price Values than elsewhere in the Borough.

Will Persimmon also be expected to contribute to the Sea Defence funding? Something that appears to have gone off of the S106 Agreement Radar of late!