The extraordinary bonus of £75 million paid to the chief executive officer of Persimmon homes has sparked anger in Swindon.

The developer’s boss Jeff Fairburn hit the headlines after an awkward encounter with a BBC reporter who asked him about this bonus, leading Mr Fairburn to walk out of the interview.

And the money has annoyed those in Swindon who remember the company saying it couldn’t afford to build as many affordable homes as it had agreed to.

In spring 2017 the company, along with fellow developer Redrow Homes, claimed it was not financially viable to build 30 per cent of the homes on the massive Badbury Park site as affordable homes.

The companies got Swindon Borough Council to agree to them building 22 per cent of the homes to be let at an affordable rate.

They also said it wasn’t viable to bear the cost of improvements to the road network in the area, including work on junction 15 of the M4.

Labour’s prospective candidate for the South Swindon parliamentary constituency, Sarah Church said it showed big builders have too much power.

She said: “The large developers like Persimmon have local councils over a barrel. Instead of honouring a commitment to build affordable homes for the benefit of all residents, these companies have profit at their heart. This is made very clear by the obscene bonus of £75m taken by the CEO of Persimmon.

“ Persimmon’s excuse for reducing the percentage of affordable homes at Badbury Park was to ensure the company could provide the needed infrastructure for that development - the community centre and school - infrastructure which has still not been built.”

Ms Church added: “It’s these same companies that force through development outside the democratically agreed local plan while only slowly building where they already have permission- it’s all about keeping prices high and out of reach of many working people. The answer lies in bringing building back into the hands of the Borough Council, building homes for rent and sale that really are affordable and designed with the good of the town in mind, rather than just the relentless pursuit of profit.”

But Councillor Gary Sumner, the Conservative cabinet member for strategic planning criticised Ms Church’s comments.

He said: The developers have to show they can make a nationally agreed level of profit - it’s nothing to do with boardroom pay or bonuses. If they can’t make that level of profit, they can reduce aspects of the development.

Persimmon are a company we work with and we have the last 300 houses coming up for the next planning committee with a full 30 per cent quota of affordable homes. I think Sarah Church is being disingenuous here in attacking the company’s CEO.”