After 4 weeks of being shut down, some of the UK’s largest house building companies are planning to re-open and start working again on construction sites.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, construction sites for flats, homes and new developments were put to a halt across the country in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

However, a slow reduction in cases across the nation has confirmed that some of the UK’s house builders will resume later this month and in May, including Taylor Wimpey and Vistry to be confirmed.

Although house building companies work to very tight deadlines, they have had to take the necessary safety precautions and stop working during the lockdown. Behind the scenes, sales teams have been busy giving virtual tours and selling places off plan, whilst making the most of remote working.

When home building is remobilised, firms will need to act with precaution and care, with many organisations proposing their own code of conduct to outline a certain number of people on site, use of safety wear and people distancing.

Vistry commented:

“For its own private house-building business the initial focus “will be on homes which are watertight and where we have clear visibility of completion and hence cash realisation”.

They added: “Activity levels will commence in a measured way, increasing steadily, and maintaining a tight control on work in progress. We have been in close dialogue with our supply chain partners who are supportive of our plans.”

Taylor Wimpey said:

“On 24 March we announced the orderly closing of our sites, show homes and sales centres to protect the health and safety of our customers, employees and subcontractors across the UK. While construction was deemed a permitted activity by the UK government, we believed that it was essential to be confident that we could modify our working practices to adhere to strict social distancing guidance and this required time and careful planning. We received strong support for this early decision from all stakeholder groups, particularly our customers, employees and subcontractors.”

“We are now confident that we have a clear set of detailed protocols and revised guidelines which we can operate safely, and on a sustainable basis for as long as is necessary. These protocols include a fully revised set of working practices and additional precautionary measures including modified site operational practices, revised risk assessments, inductions, and changes to site format, including bespoke PPE for two-person tasks which we have designed in-house.”

Chris Griggs of Griggs Homes commented:

“At Griggs the safety of our staff, clients, suppliers, sub-contractors and members of the public is our highest priority. Our site teams continue to take additional precautions by adhering to social distancing guidelines and we are limiting the number of people on site at any one time. Our office staff are all set up to work remotely and we are available at all times to deal with your enquiry.”