Author Topic: Construction Minister Nick Boles - I will not defend house builders.  (Read 4552 times)

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Nick Boles has referred to house builders as the "unacceptable face of capitalism" after seeing first hand the shoddy workmanship of house builders in his own constituency

"If the house building industry want to persuade the British people of the need to build more houses, they need to work with local communities, they need to design beautiful places that respect the local environment, and they need to build houses to a high quality which will stand the test of time. If they don't, I cannot and will not defend them."

"As planning minister in the government, I pushed through reforms that led to a big rise in the number of proposals for new housing that received planning permission.  So the nation's house builders have good reason think that I am on their side. But in the last few months I have come across two examples of shoddy workmanship and sharp practice by house builders which make me very angry indeed."


Mr Boles said in the summer some of his constituents living on a Persimmon development showed him what they have had to put up with.
He said: "I was shocked by what they showed me: bricks and driveways were splattered with dried mortar, dangerous holes were left in gardens, manhole covers had been turfed over and both roads and pavements left with dangerously uneven levels."

Mr Boles said he wrote to the chief executive of Persimmon demanding a meeting and was "was fobbed off with a wholly unsatisfactory reply until I wrote to the company's chairman."

If a government minister is unable to get a satisfactory reply from Persimmon  CEO Jeff Fairburn,  what chance have the buyers of this company's homes? 

A spokesman for Persimmon said that one of the company's main board directors would be happy to meet with Mr Boles on site.
He said, "We take our responsibilities as one of the UK's leading house builders incredibly seriously. We have over 375 developments underway in the UK and many thousands of very satisfied customers. Parts of the development in Grantham fell unacceptably short of our usual high standards and when we became aware of the problems we expressed our profound apologies to the residents and worked very hard to put things right."

A typical Plc housebuilder PR spin.  Turning a negative into an opportunity for positive press.  Does anyone actually still believe  statements like these from the house builders?

Perhaps the 1000's of very unhappy Persimmon buyers should write to Mr Boles and further open his eyes!  We need a New Homes Ombudsman now, especially when house builders like Persimmon, continue make claims such as "many thousands of very satisfied customers" (the 2014 HBF customer satisfaction survey would indicate otherwise!) and "usual high standards" (just 8 NHBC Quality Awards in 2014!). "Worked hard to put things right"?  The reality is that many residents faced an uphill  battle just to get any remedial work done by Persimmon.

House builders are the unacceptable face of capitalism

Surely Mr. Boles had an opportunity when he was planning minister to ensure proper regulations were put in place to prevent what he now calls "shoddy" building by house builders, yet did nothing. Why did he not ensure housing was built on flood plains?

It is obvious that house builders only care about money. 
So, Mr Boles, take away some of the money. A windfall tax on excessive house builder profits gained from Help to Buy and a Levy on all house builders to pay for enforceable regulation on minimum space and design standards, better customer care and a New Homes Ombudsman  would be a start!
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