Construction site hours are limited under planning conditions, however these are set to be relaxed as part of the government response to COVID-19 to support the construction industry. COVID-19 has required builders to change some operational aspects of site work, including numbers of personnel on site at any one time and proximity of working. These changes obviously limit output, therefore the relaxation in hours is intended to offer some extension to the working day and additional flexibility.
Changes to site hours require approval of the planning authority, although as this is a national government policy, there will need to be very compelling reasons for refusal. Due to the emergency nature of the response, this is also a fast-track application without the usual consultation.
Read on below for the changes. HGRA has also been consulted by planning such that we can represent concerns raised previously by residents.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, and the national government guidance, it is understood that site works have already resumed with the necessary flexibility. This application is confirming the new ways of working and has been put forward by David Wilson Homes. Technically, Bovis and Bellway should also apply separately for their areas.
- This is a temporary extension of hours that will expire 3rd October 2020;
- Site works will be allowed Monday – Friday 07:30-21:00, Saturday 08:00-18:00. With no works allowed on Sunday (as currently);
- David Wilson Homes state that large deliveries to site will only be in the hours of 08:00-16:00
Site operations of this nature are usually detailed in a Construction Management Plan that forms part of the planning permission. David Wilson Homes have updated theirs and it is attached here for your reference.
Many residents remember the site operations closing down 2014-2017 when no works were done on site due to market conditions. It’s unclear what impact COVID-19 will have on the housing market, however the overwhelming view we hear from residents is one of getting Hunts Grove completed as soon as possible, along with the long promised infrastructure and facilities.
This does need to be balanced with residents amenity and need for peace in their homes. Many complaints we hear are related to the fact that the majority of construction traffic accesses the site through the completed residential areas. In addition, when there is going to be noisy works on site or any disruption for residents, it would be useful to know beforehand. In the event of an issue, an efficient complaints procedure is also crucial.
As such, HGRA has provided the following additional feedback to planners:
- HGRA requests that the development coordination meetings we have with Crest, MJ Church, DWH, Bellway and Bovis resume as soon as possible, online via teleconference if necessary;
- HGRA requests that there is an easy to access complaints procedure with the developers (and escalation via the planning authority if necessary);
- HGRA requests that construction traffic solely access the site from the new construction route to the south west of the site. This will reduce residents concerns related to construction traffic through residential areas, plus offer further benefits if it enables the developer to restore Harrier Way and the junction to Lime Tree Avenue;
We’ll keep you posted on any further developments. Feel free to leave any comments below or via our Facebook page.