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How good is Persimmon’s new-build housing? – part two

  • by JW

How green is Persimmon’s new-build housing?

“Can the housebuilder which owns large areas of building land in the Sid Valley step up to the plate and deliver?”


Yesterday evening’s Great Climate Fight on Channel Four, as reviewed in today’s Guardian, sees Kevin McCloud trying to ask the housing industry some questions about their lobbying of government to keep zero-carbon regulations to a minimum:

What about the presenter of Grand Designs wearing a wire so he can infiltrate a housing AGM and politely – this is McCloud after all, not Paxman – ask the chairman of Persimmon Homes if he is still briefing the government.

The housing company asked Channel Four to accompany the closing credits with a statement:

Whilst this firm has not contributed funds to the current party of government, the Spectator has looked at the scandal of new builds and the very questionable quality of the houses built by Persimmon; the Guardian has considered how UK housebuilders save billions as the government delays low-carbon rules; and MPs have taken part in subsequent debates in parliament about ‘building safety’, standards and quality.

Earlier this year, the question was asked: How good is Persimmon’s new-build housing? And as the piece suggests, the answer is very mixed.

Two years ago, questions were being asked of East Devon residents about proposed zero-carbon housing in the local plan. And the choices are very limited.

Almost three years ago, the question was asked as to how Local Plans, housing and carbon commitments actually work. And the answer was very clear: “most of Local Plans do not acknowledge quite how radical and challenging the 2050 zero-carbon commitment is for planning and place-making.”

To return to Persimmon, they do indeed have their Environment pages where they commit to ‘net zero carbon’.

And yet, according to the investment industry, housebuilders count the costs of going green; and indeed, as per the Mail, in the late summer, housebuilder shares leapt as plans to row back environmental protections were revealed.

But to finish with more from yesterday’s Channel Four programme on The Great Climate Fight:

McCloud is irate about the fact that we live in some of the worst-insulated homes in Europe. He talks to builders constructing greener, cheaper homes, waxes lyrical about heat pumps and visits a town in Sweden on course to reach net zero in six years.

So, can the housebuilder which owns large areas of building land in the Sid Valley step up to the plate and deliver?