Renaker Build, which has a pipeline of thousands of apartments across Manchester and Salford, said all sites would be closed on Friday and staff sent home on full pay for three weeks.
The Government confirmed this morning construction sites could remain open despite the rules around social distancing and only travelling to work for essential jobs, as long as the recommended two metres between staff could be maintained.
A spokesperson for Renaker told Place North West this morning: “Having worked under a new health and safety regime for some time during this crisis, we have now made the decision to close all sites as of Friday, initially for a period of three weeks, in the interests of staff and the wider supply chain.
“We’ve had a heightened health and safety process but that is hard to implement; while office staff are working from home we can’t practically continue construction. We will be continuing essential maintenance and safety processes in the interim.”
Renaker’s densest area of construction activity is around the Great Jackson Street area at the edge of Manchester city centre, with hundreds of staff building out projects. The most prominent is Deansgate Square, the phased development of 1,500 apartments in four towers. Nearby, the developer contractor is also on site at an apartment block on Chester Road, and is building Victoria Tower and Elizabeth Tower at plots on the edge of the Chester Road roundabout.
Planning permission was recently granted to Renaker to build 1,400 flats across three towers at Salford’s Greengate and a start on site was scheduled for the spring.
The spokesperson continued: “Staff are working from home for three weeks on full pay, and we are working on plans for if the situation persists beyond this.
“There are lots of self-employed people in construction so we are waiting to see what support there will be from Government, which we hope will be imminent.”