Building work to resume in Harrogate in first signs of lockdown easing

As the Government consults on guidelines this week for easing lockdown, a Harrogate residential area is among those where house building is set to resume shortly.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 12:19 pm
Daniel Smith, managing director of Barratt Developments Yorkshire East, said: The safety of our employees, subcontractors and customers is our main priority."

Barratt Developments Yorkshire East have announced plans for a phased return to construction across selected sites next Monday, May 11.

Included in the first phase of reopening is Kingsley Meadows in Harrogate.

The news has raised concern from some local residents in the area between Harrogate High School, KIngsley Drive and Bogs Lane who have endured nearly 18 months of multiple building sites while different firms construct a total of nearly 700 new homes.

A visualisation of how Kingsley Meadows in Harrogate will look when completed.

A spokesperson for protest group Kingsley Ward Action Group said: "We have enjoyed the peace and quiet for weeks now.

"We can hear the birds sing again and the wildlife is beginning to return to those open spaces which are left.

"We need to make it clear that they and their workers, their trucks, their noise and their mess have not been missed and are not welcome here."

The construction industry has been regarded as a difficult place to apply social distancing rules.

Barratts announced the closure of all sites in late March to support Public Health England’s guidelines to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Its new announcement comes after the creation of new working practices and protocols for employees and subcontractors to ensure the safe reopening of construction sites. Included in the first phase of reopening is Kingsley Meadows, in Harrogate.

The implemented changes will include:

Alterations to signage, site welfare facilities and compounds, site access and walkways.

The presence of a nominated Social Distancing Marshal on all sites to ensure policy compliance.

The housebuilder will also provide induction, training and support for its employees and subcontractors working on site during this time.

Daniel Smith, managing director of Barratt Developments Yorkshire East, commented:

“The safety of our employees, subcontractors and customers is our main priority so every precaution will be taken when our sites reopen later this month.

"The steps we have currently put in place comply with social distancing measures and are designed to minimise any risk to the health of our workforce.

"We will continually monitor the ongoing situation and respond in accordance with the Government’s advice. I would also like to thank all of our employees for their continued support during this challenging time.”

Upon construction restarting, the housebuilder will be prioritising the completion of homes that its customers have already exchanged or reserved. However, in line with the lockdown retail regulations, sales centres and show homes will not be reopening, instead, Barratt Developments Yorkshire East will continue to look after its customers remotely.

National newpapers today leaked draft guidance for employers drawn up by the Government, which is also reported to be considering a partial reopening of schools on June 1.

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