Major Home Builders Suspend Construction Projects

Despite the government insisting that construction workers could continue to work on construction sites if they are in the open air and adhere to social distancing measures, many developers and home builders have taken a proactive decision to protect their employees by suspending their construction projects at the end of Tuesday.

Pressure was mounting on the government to protect construction workers from the coronavirus after images on public transport and tight construction spaces suggested conditions were failing to comply with governmental advice.

Early Tuesday morning, Robert Jenrick had tweeted the nation by stating all construction should work from home wherever necessary, but that safe, open-air construction working could still take place.

However, following the stern approach adopted by the government in recent days, and possibly envisioning announcements in the not too distant future, many home builders have made the decision to suspend construction.

Taylor Wimpey, Galliard and Speller Metcalfe have issued press releases stating that their construction projects will be placed on hold in line with government advice and public opinion.

Stephen Conway, Executive Chairman of Galliard said:

“Our business was born in London and we are committed to the capital, but during these unprecedented times the safety of our construction staff, families and our London communities is paramount.

“We believe that by taking our staff out of daily commuting we will help to free up London’s Transport Network for the NHS and key workers who are protecting sick and vulnerable people across the capital.”

Taylor Wimpey commented:

“In the interest of customer and employee safety, we have taken the decision to close all of our show homes, sales centres, and construction sites for all work except that needed to make the sites safe and secure.”

Speller Metcalfe said:

“This morning we made the decision to temporarily close the vast majority of our construction sites.

“With Government advice currently unclear, we have agreed that the morally responsible course of action is to suspend site operations as soon as is possible, in order to reduce risk to our staff and our supply chain and in the national interest of preserving life.

“Our site teams are currently working hard to ensure that sites are shut down safely and securely, as well as making preparations for safe and prompt continuation of works as soon as we are able to do so.

“The only sites which will remain open are those where we are delivering critical works for the NHS – ensuring the well-being of those who continue to work on these sites will be our number one priority and we will be working closely with our clients and supply chain to ensure all possible measures are in place to ensure social distancing and enhanced hygiene regimes are adhered to at all times.

Should the government order all construction projects to suspend their activities? What will this mean for new-build sales?

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