Housing association joins firms such as British Land in taking back seat on whether to shut sites

Catalyst Housing has confirmed it has not chosen to halt construction on all sites and is leaving its contractors to decide.

The housing association, which has more than 32,000 home in London and the Home Counties, said: “We have not made the blanket decision to halt construction on all sites. As is normal, these sites are under the possession and control of our contractors.”

Catalyst Housing Group

Catalyst joins a number of firms, such as British Land, Landsec and Legal & General, which have stood back on whether to close construction sites due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The association said: “Contractors are responsible for ensuring that the site is operated safely at all times and it is their responsibility for controlling and managing operations during the construction process.

“The guidelines to protect those working on building sites are clear and on that basis government advice at present is that construction should continue to operate where it is safe to do so.”

However, last week saw the UK’s biggest housebuilders including Barratt, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Bellway, as well as contractors, shut down their sites, with some believing the 2m social-distancing rule was unfeasible to apply.

Catalyst is currenting speaking to its contractors on a daily basis about how best to implement government advice regarding the safety and wellbeing of workers on site.

Where there is any question that sites cannot operate safely within current guidelines, they have been closed and made secure until they can safely reopen.