As all construction sites begin to open up across the country, 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 to extend hours 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 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.
Remember to comply with Site Operating Procedures and stay safe.