Housing Secretary outlines push to get construction industry running immediately

Jessica Bird

May 13, 2020

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) has outlined government plans and guidance for ensuring the construction industry resumes immediately, following government’s decision to easy lockdown restrictions and reopen the housing market

Speaking at today’s government press conference, Jenrick said: “A vibrant housing market means more than buying and selling homes.

“We need to get building again, and Britain needs that.

“It’s something this government has always committed to, and something our ambitious First Homes programme will do later this year, with a 30% discount on new homes for key workers.”

He added: “We want [those homes] to be ready as soon as possible, and that’s just one of the key reasons I’m keen to get construction up and running.”

The government plans to support the construction industry in restarting safely by bringing in flexible and extended operating hours, where appropriate and with local consent.

Sites will be able to apply to extend working hours with immediate effect, to 9pm Monday to Saturday in residential areas, and beyond this in non-residential.

The government will be providing permission for these to be approved by local councils, unless there are clear reasons not to do so.

Jenrick said: “Varied start and finish times will make it much easier for sites to observe social distancing, take the pressure off public transport like the tube in London, and keep Britain building.”

He went on to thank housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, which has recommenced construction on the majority of its sites, and started removing employees from the furlough scheme.

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