A NUMBER OF initiatives have been announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick designed to stimulate the construction industry.
Construction firms will be able to request more flexible construction site working hours from their local council, including keeping sites open up to 9pm and staggering workers’ shifts to ease public transport rush hours.
Local councils and developers will be able to publicise planning applications through social media helping to speed up the service.
Smaller developers can defer payments to local councils, helping to ease cash flow.
Charter for Safe Working
A new Charter for Safe Working Practice on sites has also been launched by the government and the Home Builders Federation, designed to help construction sites reopen while minimising the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said, “Many house builders have commenced a gradual return to work, in a structured way that ensures the safety of its workforce and the general public.
“A resumption of work will play a major part in helping the economy recover as well as delivering the homes the country needs.
“It should also provide the supply chain with the confidence it needs to accelerate its own restart. The Charter is the public facing evidence which supports the very detailed protocols individual builders now have in place to ensure safe working on sites.”
Working in homes
Government guidance makes clear that tradespeople including roofers can operate in domestic properties, provided they do so in line with health guidance.
The Safe Working Charter compliments detailed guidance available from the Construction Leadership Council on further reducing the risk of infection onsite in the Safe Operating Procedures Version3.
The Housing Secretary also announced that home moving can also restart. Since lockdown restrictions were implemented in March, 450,000 people have been unable to move house.
All buyers and renters will now be able to complete purchases and view properties in person, while estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms can return to work while following social distancing guidelines.