- Persimmon building boss Jeff Fairburn set to pocket £50 million worth of shares
- Residents of one of his housing developments in Salford are furious at his bonus
- They moved into their new homes several years ago and they remain unfinished
Residents of a Persimmon housing development that has been left unfinished for years have expressed their fury at an enormous £130 million bonus for the housebuilder’s boss.
The Mail on Sunday revealed a fortnight ago that Jeff Fairburn is set to pocket £50 million worth of shares at the end of this month thanks to a lucrative scheme put in place in 2012.
In all, he stands to make around £130 million from the performance-linked incentive plan.
The huge payout has outraged homebuyers who several years ago moved into their new houses on the Greenacres estate – looking forward to the day the builders finally finished, leaving them with safe, smoothly-surfaced roads, a neatly-manicured park and a children’s playground.
Stewart Hopkirk, pictured, is a Greenacres resident and disgruntled buyer waiting for the completion of roads and parks as detailed in original Persimmon planning
But three years after the workmen moved on elsewhere, residents are still waiting for all they were promised when they agreed to buy their properties.
The first home at Greenacres, in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, was built as long ago as 2008. But some roads have still not been tarmacked and a park, playground, football pitch and picturesque pond – all of which were pledged to residents – have not been built.
Persimmon worked jointly with rival Taylor Wimpey on the 650-house estate.
Critics said the rise in Persimmon shares that fuelled Fairburn’s huge bonus had partly been driven by the taxpayer-backed Help to Buy initiative, launched in 2013. Greenacres residents also attacked the firm’s bonus scheme, which will reward 150 executives and regional managers with shares worth around £800 million in total.
Greenacres residential development in Stotfold, Hertfordshire, pictured,is still missing the neatly-manicured park and a children’s playground
David Stoller, pictured, is a Greenacres resident who opposes Jeff Fairburn’s £130 million bonus
Persimmon said the share scheme was designed to incentivise management and boost the share price.
But homebuyer Stewart Hopkirk said of Fairburn’s share bonus: ‘There’s a moral and an ethical issue there.’
He added: ‘The problem I have with Persimmon is that it is being awarded new contracts every month. How is that right when they’ve done a planning application with specific clauses for this development and they’ve reneged on those clauses? Nothing’s happened in five years.’
Hopkirk said his home was being shown by Persimmon on its website to promote its work – but the picture does not show the rough, untarmacked road surface outside.
Mother-of-three Rachel Yates, said her son Harry, nine, has fallen over three times in 18 months on the way to school because of unfinished roads and kerbs.
Jeff Fairburn, pictured, is the chief executive officer of building firm Persimmon
Roads outside the pre-school are not safe for children, she added.
‘Harry’s had trips and scrapes but my main concern is something much worse could happen soon,’ she said. ‘How can you build a pre-school on a road that doesn’t have any safety measures in place?’
David Stoller, another disgruntled buyer, said people had moved out because the work is incomplete.
He added: ‘A lot of people moved here and it’s not become the dream they were sold. We’re not asking for anything we weren’t promised seven years ago.’
Some Greenacres residents believe the impasse is because there were two developers, with both leaving work to each other.
Homeowners who bought Persimmon houses elsewhere have also faced problems. David Bunton lives in a flat in Exmouth, Devon, built by Charles Church, a Persimmon subsidiary.
He said the roof and every window and door of the building had to be replaced within three years – at residents’ expense.
Bunton said: ‘Unfortunately he [Fairburn] and his co-directors are laughing all the way to the bank.
‘Pity he and some of his regional directors could not follow up positively to all the problems and issues houseowners and flatholders have with his company.’
A Persimmon spokesman said: ‘We and our development partners at Taylor Wimpey South Midlands are committed to completing the outstanding works to roads, sewers, footpaths and open spaces in Greenacres as soon as possible.’
He added that work would start ‘early next year’ – and Persimmon would investigate the problems at Exmouth. Taylor Wimpey declined to comment.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online