Basingstoke’s MP has welcomed government plan to restart the housing market in England, allowing anyone to move home safely while getting the vital construction industry running again

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Local MP for Basingstoke Maria Miller has welcomed the plans announced by the Housing Secretary to re-start the housing market in line with social distancing advice, allowing anyone to move home safely while getting the vital construction industry running again.

From today (13 May 2020) anyone in England can move home if they follow new guidance published by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.  Since lockdown restrictions were implemented in March, more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress their plans to move house. All buyers and renters will now be able to complete purchases and view properties in person, while estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms can return to work while following social distancing guidelines.

Maria said; “I know from Basingstoke constituents that the necessary measures taken to slow the spread of coronavirus, have left families unable to move home, progress their plans or continue working in construction. This announce will be welcomed by Basingstoke residents who have been patiently waiting to progress their plans to move or continue working in the construction industry and can now do so safely.” 

The Housing Secretary has also announced a series of measures to get the country building homes for the future, including:

·         allowing builders to agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering builders’ arrival times, easing pressure on public transport

·         enabling local councils and developers to publicise planning applications through social media instead of having to rely on posters and leaflets, helping to unblock the service

·         support for smaller developers by allowing them to defer payments to local councils, helping those struggling with their cash flow while ensuring communities still receive funding towards local infrastructure in the longer term

A new Charter has also been launched by the government and the Home Builders Federation, helping construction sites reopen in line with latest health and safety guidance.

Guidance from Public Health England must continue to be followed and anyone advised to self-isolate should continue to do so and not move home.

Government guidance makes clear that tradespeople including fitters can operate in homes, provided they do so in line with health guidance.

Show homes can also re-open, following social distancing guidance.

The Safe Working Charter compliments detailed guidance available from the Construction Leadership Council on further reducing the risk of infection onsite.