Persimmon fatcat says he isn’t going to hand over freeholds at Bluebell Meadow
… Even though taxpayers through Help To Buy subsidised these flawed purchases, which also helped make him a multimillionaire
Persimmon CEO David Jenkinson, who received a controversial bonus of £45 million which saw his predecessor sacked, has said he will not be handing over the freeholds to houses sold as leasehold at Bluebell Meadow in Bradwell, Norfolk.
In a letter to former local MP and housing minister Brandon Lewis – who is standing for re-election, Mr Jenkinson addressed the deluge of correspondence from Bluebell Meadow leaseholders who want the freehold to their homes.
“… your constituents request us to ‘return’ the freehold reversions to their leasehold homes to them free of charge.
“The basis for this appears to be that we are alleged to have in some way mis-sold the homes by withholding certain information.
“The email alludes to a recent case in Cardiff in which a few of our leasehold house owners did receive the freehold reversion to their homes.”
Mr Jenkinson tells Mr Lewis that leasehold houses “provided a good way of reducing the price of houses and helped many more first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder”.
Only because of Help To Buy did Persimmon decide to stop selling the houses at Bluebell Meadow, says Mr Jenkinson.
Others might say that the national scandal over leasehold houses, revealed by the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership which was taken up in all national media and in Parliament, actually made house builders abandon this lucrative racket.
People living in Persimmon-built estates have experienced all manner of problems after moving in to their new homes. From the house with walls so bad that he neighbours laughed to the U-turn by Persimmon in giving away leaseholds for free, homeowners have told us the reality of their dream home is more like a nightmare.
Mr Jenkinson indicates that 134 houses at Bluebell Meadow were sold leasehold in phase 1 of the scheme. But that the 621 subsequent houses will be sold freehold.
The leasehold houses at Bluebell Meadow pay out £150pa in ground rent, reviewed with RPI every 10 years, and the leases are for 999 years.
“Persimmon refutes any allegation that the leasehold houses on this development were somehow mis-sold.”
Mr Jenkinson references “independent legal advisors” – the solicitors recommended by Persimmon – who “would have made it quite clear that their client was acquiring a leasehold home”.
The full correspondence, including Persimmon’s response to the Bluebell Meadow leaseholders, is attached below. And their response to Persimmon is below that: