CONSTRUCTION work will recommence in Basingstoke tomorrow.

Housebuilder Barratt Homes have announced that work at their Chapel Gate development, as well as Oakwood Grange in Hook, will start again from Monday morning.

It comes as the Prime Minister prepares to make a speech this evening, where it is expected that he will set out a plan to ease lockdown measures across the country.

Barratt, as well as other construction companies, were forced to cease work in March after concerns over their ability to abide by social distancing measures were raised.

It resulted in the partner of one builder from Basingstoke, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she had concerns over why builders were being asked to go to work as normal.

Now, with lockdown expected to be eased in the coming weeks, work will recommence, but with social distancing measures in place.

Barratt say that they have developed "a detailed set of working practices and protocols so that construction sites can operate safely and in line with the latest guidance from the government, public health authorities and the Construction Leadership Council".

It will be enforced by a nominated 'social distancing marshal', who will work to ensure compliance. Meanwhile, the company are keeping sales centres and show homes closed, and ensuring all employees and sub-contractors have training on how to work from a safe distance.

Julian Hodder, Managing Director for Barratt Homes Southern Counties division, said: “Our first priority is the health and safety of our employees, sub-contractors and customers.

"We have created a detailed set of working practices and protocols for employees and sub-contractors to ensure that we can reopen our construction sites safely, in a phased and measured way, which minimises risk.

"In line with our commitment to put our customers first, we will be prioritising the completion of those homes that our customers have already exchanged or reserved.

“I would also like to thank our employees who have been fantastic during this challenging time, both those who have worked hard to get us ready to restart and our employees who are not currently working.

“As a business committed to doing the right thing we have been supporting the NHS and our communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have donated PPE to local NHS services and defibrillators to St John’s Ambulance from our sites across the region and are working with charities and organisations to help local communities.

"We are also encouraging staff to volunteer and use their time to do whatever they can to help people during this difficult period.”