Govt Unveils Plans To Restart Housing Market

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A series of new measures have been announced by the government to unlock the housing market and start building homes for the future, as well as enabling people to move house safely – all in line with social distancing guidelines.

These measures include allowing builders to strike up an agreement with local councils to agree more flexible construction site working hours by staggering builders’ arrival times, for example, which should relieve pressure on public transport.

Local councils and developers will also be able to publicise planning applications via social media, as opposed to just posters and leaflets, and smaller developers will be given additional support by allowing them to defer payments to local authorities.

This will help ensure communities still receive funding for local infrastructure over the long term while helping developers struggling with cash flow at the moment.

The government has already taken steps to help protect the construction sector and support the economy, including over £330 billion of loans and guarantees to help companies continue to operate, deferring self-assessment payments until 2021 and providing reassurances to households through three-month mortgage holidays and three-month bans on tenant evictions.

In Scotland, however, only those construction sites that are focused on essential work are able to open at this time. According to the Daily Business Group, new proposals are still being submitted but these need to be considered in line with Scottish government guidance.

Andrew Boccoli of Scottish law firm Lindsays did point out that this guidance is not an outright ban, in fact, and construction sites can legally remain open at the moment as long as social distancing policies are followed.

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