Government to get Britain building to aid COVID-19 recovery

Ian Mean
Director of Business West Gloucestershire | Business West
13th May 2020

The government has signalled a programme to get Britain building homes again in the wake of the coronavirus.

And they are going to allow housebuilders to build as quickly as possible with some sites in residential areas being able to be worked until 9pm at night.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick told the 5pm government press conference today that this late working would be allowed from Monday to Saturday and beyond that time in non-residential areas.

And the minister was insistent that these new building site working times should be approved by local councils unless there are “very compelling” reasons for them not to do so.

Early starts and late finishes by the building teams would make social distancing much easier.

Tough talk and rightly so. 

Mr Jenrick said it was time the planning inspectorate made their hearings virtual so the whole system was more user friendly.

Not many people would argue with that.

Taylor Wimpey got a big pat on the back from Robert Jenrick for getting building under way on the majority of their sites today and said they had started removing staff from the furlough scheme back onto full pay.

Taylor Wimpey, he said, were now offering a 5% discount on new homes to NHS staff and care workers. A great gesture.

The minister added that a new homes programme being launched by the government later this year would offer a 30% discount to key workers - hospital staff, police, teachers as well as first time buyers.

“We want them to be ready as soon as possible and that is just one of the reasons I am keen to get construction up and running.

“History tells us that in every economic recovery in modern British economic life the housing market has been key to recovery and revival.

“Today we re-start and we re-new the housing market and the construction industry - to protect lives, to save jobs and to begin re-building our economy.”

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