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House builders reveal plans to resume work on sites

24th April 2020

Three of Britain’s biggest housebuilders, Vistry Group, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, have revealed that they intend to resume work on sites and will manage them with strict health and safety standards.

Vistry, the newly named group brand for Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Galliford Try Partnerships, said in a statement: “In accordance with strict guidance and protocol from the Government, Public Heath England and the HSE, we have taken Vistry is to reopen around 90 per cent of its partnership sites as well as a ‘significant’ number of its housing sites from Monday next week  (27 April).”

Taylor Wimpey announced that remobilisation is to start on 4 May with a phased process based on detailed new site operating protocols developed in compliance with strict social distancing requirements, on the majority of its sites in England and Wales. Peter Redfern, Taylor Wimpey’s chief executive, said: “We are now confident that we have clear plans and processes in place so we can safely start back on.”

Taylor Wimpey took the unprecedented step to introduce its ‘Pay It Forward’ scheme to provide financial support for up to 2,750 self employed tradesmen and subcontractors who are not covered by any of the Government’s coronavirus crisis support schemes. The scheme was said to be worth £600 a month to each qualifying tradesmen.

This morning Persimmon announced in a further update on the status of its operations, said that a phased restart to work on site with effect from 27 April. The Company said that it has continued to offer its full support to its suppliers, including making forward funding available where necessary, to help them manage through the crisis and to ensure they are able to recommence supply immediately, once conditions allow.

Rober Jenrick, secretary of state for housing welcomed the news of Taylor Wimpey and Vistry reactivating sites. He wrote: “I hope to see further housebuilders choose to reopen shortly – once they’ve also worked through how to meet social distancing and protect their workforce. Work in construction can and should continue, so long as it safe to do so.”

The UK housebuilding sector has been virtually shut down since the COVID-19 lockdown began, despite the government saying in March that sites could stay open.

Source: Spector magazine