18th Nov, 2019

Campaigners call on Persimmon Homes to hand over more than half a million pounds

Ross Crawford 26th Oct, 2018

REDDITCH campaigners are calling on housing giant Persimmon Homes to hand over more than half a million pounds it agreed to pay in exchange for developing the Brockhill estate.

Members of Brockhill Residents Association say they have been waiting 20 years for 13 parcels of land and the money to maintain them to be transferred from Persimmon into the ownership of Redditch Borough Council.

This includes part of Brockhill Park off Salters Lane and all of the nature reserve off Brockhill Lane.

And they have accused the Borough Council of dragging their feet in pursuing Persimmon Homes for the cash, known as Section 106 money, which is paid by a developer to mitigate the impact of new homes on a local community.

Persimmon Homes has been in the headlines this year after awarding its chief executive Jeff Fairburn a £100million bonus – later reduced to £75million following a public outcry.

“Originally none of the roads on the estate were adopted,” said Dr Peter Merricks, former chairman of Brockhill Residents Association.

“Back then that was a County Council matter and Councillor Robin Lunn did sterling work to get that job done.

“Now the adoption of the land is a borough council matter and it has been dragging on.

“It was our AGM a couple of weeks ago.

All the local councillors were there and they said they were at the end of their tether over the matter to the extent that they proposed contacting the MP, Rachel Maclean.

“We are talking about £521,000 in relation to the sites here – Section 106 is a legal agreement and the council has a statutory right to enforce it on Persimmon yet they have not done this and it is has been going on for two decades.”

The council stated in an email seen by the Redditch Standard that ‘steady progress was being achieved’ but the solicitor dealing with the case then left the authority.

The email continues: ‘We have some sympathy for Persimmon’s lawyers because getting instructions can’t have been easy but we will now ensure that they pick up the reins’.

Dr Merricks said: “I feel like we are being totally worn down by the council, asking the questions and getting the same tired answers.

“As for Persimmon, I am absolutely gobsmacked.

“The only way they answer you is to ignore you – it seems in the scheme of things that the little man simply does not count.”

A spokesperson for Redditch Borough Council said: “The Council is aware of this complex legal matter and is in dialogue with all relevant parties.”

A spokesperson from Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said: “We acknowledge this is as an ongoing issue. We remain committed to resolving matters to everyone’s satisfaction.”

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