Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey to reopen construction sites in UK

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has said it plans to resume work on its construction sites from May 4. It comes after it ordered its sites, show homes and sales centres to be closed in March, as the coronavirus outbreak gathered pace.

The company said it will re-start activity on the majority of its sites in England and Wales using “detailed new site operating protocols developed in compliance with strict social distancing requirements”.

Taylor Wimpey said trading has “inevitably been impacted” by the virus, but demand has continued, with sales teams continuing remotely.

The firm said its order book increased to £2.67 billion to the week of April 19, up from £2.4 billion a year earlier. Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “Our first priority is always the health and safety of our customers, employees, sub-contractors and suppliers.

“We took an early decision at the end of March to close our sites while we assessed in detail how to build homes without compromising on health and safety or quality.

“We are now confident that we have clear plans and processes in place so we can safely start back on site in a phased way beginning on May 4.”

Elsewhere, rival Vistry Group said it will re-start work on 90% of its partnership sites and a “significant number” of housing sites from the start of next week. The company, which was recently renamed from Bovis Homes, also said it had received 80 cancellations and completed 193 private sales following the pandemic.