Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Partnerships to reopen sites

Giving an update on trading from January 1 until the end of April, Taylor Wimpey said it now had plans and processes in place to start a phased process of site reopening from May 4 “based on detailed new site operating protocols developed in compliance with strict social distancing requirements,” on most of its sites in England and Wales.

The company’s new protocols and revised guidance include modified site operational practices, revised Risk Assessments and inductions and bespoke, in-house designed PPE (personal protective equipment) for two-person tasks.

This is all underlined by the Taylor Wimpey COVID-19 Code of Conduct, which, the business said, all staff, subcontractors and suppliers must sign up to before beginning on site.

The Code of Conduct outlines Taylor Wimpey’s commitment “to deliver a safe working environment for our employees and subcontractors working on site, while stating our very clear expectations of behaviours of all those visiting our sites to work”. Taylor Wimpey said its Code was based on the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) guidance document.

With its plans for a managed and gradual restart, the business said it did not expect to achieve any “meaningful” build progress until mid-May. “We will assess build output on each site based on meeting the new social distancing protocols,” it added.

During the 16 weeks to April 19 2020, Taylor Wimpey completed 2,271 homes against 2,644 during the equivalent period last year, reflecting the impact of site closures.

The company has continued to sell homes throughout the lockdown so far. Thanks to its new digital reservation process, its order book has continued to strengthen; as of the week ending April 19, its total value stood at around £2,677 million (2019 week 16: £2,399 million).

On March 24, Taylor Wimpey announced it would close its sites, show homes and sales centres. Its sales centres, show homes and regional offices will currently remain closed.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “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 4 May.”

Regeneration specialist Vistry Partnerships closed its sales centres and construction sites on March 25. It has since devised “detailed operating procedures” adhering to government, Public Health England and HSE guidance, so that it can undertake work safely and to strict standards from April 27, the company said.

Stephen Teagle, Vistry Partnerships’ ceo, said: “The health and safety of our employees and the general public is our number one priority. Over the past month, we have consulted closely with our staff and supply chain partners, adhering to the government’s ongoing advice.

“The government has made it clear that where sites can be operated in a safe manner, they should continue to do so.”