‘York-based’ Persimmon …

From the archives .. sign on a Persimmon development in the Hull road area, York, Oct 2004

From the archives .. sign on a Persimmon development in the Hull road area, York, Oct 2004

I thought I should highlight something I heard mentioned on a news bulletin on the radio earlier today, which doesn’t seem to have got much coverage locally, regarding ‘York-based Persimmon Homes’ — as they’re often referred to. An independent and critical report published this week would, I thought, have had local media coverage, but I can’t find any, so thought I’d do my best to gather the available information together.

Persimmon are the company who want to build on the Bootham Crescent football ground.

They own a lot of land and they sell a lot of homes. The report summarises their approach as

more a land assembler and seller of houses rather than a housebuilder

There has been quite a bit of coverage of this report elsewhere, beyond the local, and the headlines summarise many of the main findings of the report:

BBC website:

Builder Persimmon lacks minimum house standards, report finds

And the Times:

Persimmon’s culture makes its homes ‘potentially unsafe’

And the Guardian:

Persimmon accused of building homes with ‘intolerable’ fire risk

And the Independent:

Persimmon homes without fire barriers posed ‘intolerable risk’, report finds

And the Telegraph:

Ratings relied on by millions of homeowners under fire in damning Persimmon review 

etc …

The report they’re all referring to is available on this link (PDF).

Persimmon, as many readers will be aware, submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the Bootham Crescent ground (home of York City FC for many decades, home of York City Knights in recent years).

I’ve looked at the planning portal regularly, and that application appears to be languishing in limbo with nothing much added to it for months, and various agreements for extensions of time until it goes to the planning committee.

Perhaps Persimmon have ‘gone back to the drawing board’. I hope so. It’s difficult to see how this particular company (though ‘York-based’) could do a good job of making a place like the Bootham Crescent football ground somewhere York can still feel connected to and proud of.

The Yorkshire Post also covered the story on the report on Persimmon (‘York-based FTSE 100 firm’): Persimmon urged to change its culture after catalogue of mistakes, and quoted the group’s chairman Roger Devlin:

“This review – and the seriousness that we attach to its detailed findings – is an important moment for Persimmon as we continue to build a different business with an increased focus on our customers and wider stakeholders – becoming a business that prioritises purpose as well as profit.”

In this ‘important moment’, and in looking for that sense of ‘purpose’, they can perhaps strive to do justice to the culture and significance of the Bootham Crescent site … or let someone else do it instead.

Like the city council perhaps, who seem to be moving on with plans for the adjacent barracks site.

I’m really not clear why this important report into ‘York-based Persimmon’ hasn’t had much coverage locally. I looked to see what the local press has reported recently, regarding Persimmon Homes.

Persimmons Homes donate over 450 books to local library‘, reported the York Press on 2 November. And on 13 November:

‘York’s best performing businesses have been revealed. Persimmon Homes heads the York Top 100, compiled by York Business School at York St John University, in partnership with Make It York and The Press.’

I guess it depends how you define ‘best performing’… ?

Or am I missing something? I’ve got that feeling, today, that you get when you’re about to get a cold/flu type of thing, so perhaps I’m just feverish and seeing things all wrong, as I can’t quite believe that the national media would have given this coverage yesterday and yet there’s so little local attention on it, a day later.

Anyway, I don’t get a massive bonus like this chap, so virtual coffees are always welcome, in support of this independent, ad-free, online place where sometimes I see a gap and try to fill it. (Or at least put something up there to start a discussion/draw awareness to a local issue. As it has, many times.)

About Lisa @YorkStories

Lisa @YorkStories is the creator, administrator, and writer of content on www.yorkstories.co.uk. She can be contacted on this link or via Twitter, @YorkStories
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