Property in: LONDON

Coronavirus update for construction: 14 May

Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak 

Following a concerted effort by Build UK to support members to increase their output while complying with the Site Operating Procedures, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Robert Jenrick has published a written ministerial statement making it clear that for the next 12 months local planning authorities in England should not refuse requests to extend working hours on construction sites up to 9:00pm, Monday to Saturday, without very compelling reasons. In some cases, such as in areas without residential properties, 24-hour working may be justified.

Requests should be made to the local planning authority which should aim to issue a decision within 10 working days. Short term or modest increases to working hours may be agreed informally, whereas longer term or more significant changes will require a formal application in the usual way and the government has published FAQs with further information.

The government has published new advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which makes it clear that people who wish to move home can do so. This should lead to more construction sites reopening and provide a boost to the supply chain. The guidance for tradespeople is particularly helpful, confirming that general home improvements can now be undertaken in new and existing homes, such as fitting new kitchens and redecorating. Anyone working in people’s homes should follow the latest government guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) which is aligned to the Site Operating Procedures.

Businesses with supply chains which rely on trade credit insurance and are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to coronavirus will get support from the government. Business-to-business transactions currently supported by trade credit insurance will be temporarily guaranteed through a reinsurance agreement with insurers currently operating in the market until at least the end of the year.

The recent Build UK materials survey demonstrated the demand for construction materials which enabled us to open up the supply chain. You can help us to keep it open by providing information on the anticipated demand for materials and products and completing this short follow up materials survey as soon as possible and by 2:00pm on Monday 18 May.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK.

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