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You don’t need Advantage to tell you that it’s been a somewhat eventful couple of months for construction. Like every sector, the pressure has been on to adjust rapidly to new ways of working and to put plans in place to weather the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This has, of course, been no small undertaking, but we’ve seen many of our clients successfully complete projects this summer.

It has been a period when the need for support and clarity from central government (from providing flexibility on site opening times to delivering funding for key projects) has been felt particularly keenly.

Boris Johnson’s ‘new deal’ speech

Many within the construction sector will be pondering the key take-aways from Boris Johnson’s ‘new deal’ speech this week, which promised a “build, build, build” road to recovery for the UK economy.

It has been the promise of a £5bn building programme for hospitals, schools, roads and more which has dominated the headlines today.

10 Downing Street, build

Image is courtesy of the GOV.UK website

However, here at Advantage, we were also interested in the PM’s plans to make it easier for the private sector to develop its own projects. As reported by The Construction Index, a wider range of commercial buildings, including failed shopping centres, will be allowed to change to residential use without the need for a planning application.

Under new laws to come in by September, developers will no longer need a normal planning application to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes.

Further planning reform proposals will be published in July.

A statement on the UK government website reads:

“PM Boris Johnson has announced the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War, making it easier to build better homes where people want to live.”

The response from the construction sector

Build UK stated:

“We welcome the prime minister’s comments today, which clarify the government’s commitment to the infrastructure revolution and levelling up the UK. This is a chance to not merely restart, but reset and reinvent the delivery of infrastructure projects and drive the economic recovery.”

As reported by PBC Today, Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said:

“The repair, maintenance and improvement (RM&I) sector contributes 32% towards construction output so it’s important this isn’t overlooked in terms of investment.

“The pandemic has placed historic constraints on local builders’ ability to work, train, and earn a living. The RM&I market, the bread and butter for most small builders, has been the hardest hit. Almost half a million people left the sector as a result of the 2008-9 financial crash

They were also quoted by Total Contractor stating:

Whilst ‘build, build, build’ is key, FMB says let’s not forget ‘repair, repair, repair.’

We’ll be back soon with Advantage’s take on the latest construction news. In the meantime, if you require a structural warranty, please get in touch with our friendly team today. Call: 0845 900 3969, email: sales@ahci.co.uk or pay a visit to our homepage: https://ahci.co.uk/