Whiteburn ask for clarity on when we can return to building homes

Our Managing Director Eve McCurrich has written to our local MP’s, MSP’s and Local Councillors asking they support the return of our industry back to work. Eve says “Whilst we recognise the fundamental necessity to protect the NHS, we are seeking clarity as to why the Government led guidance is different in Scotland to the rest of the UK with regard to permitting house builders and construction to work. As a member of Homes for Scotland, they have been incredible in communicating with us on a daily basis, listening to our concerns and acting for us as an SME house builder. They are actively engaged with the Scottish Government to try and get some clarity on when, as an industry, we can, with added safety precautions, return to building homes. They have worked to prepare guidance with regard to the safe operating procedures covering sales offices, show homes and handovers highlighted above, this is currently with the Scottish Government for official approval. We hope that there is recognition of the measures we will put in place and this will allow our subcontractors and suppliers to all safely return to work

 

Recommencement of Building Homes

Caerlee Mill, Innerleithen

We are an award winning home building business building new homes in your ward. My company has a key role to play in the economic success and social wellbeing of the local area. We are building 44 new build homes at Caerlee Mill, Innerleithen, nearly 70% of our reservations taken have come from local people wanting to move into a new home in the locality. We have handed over the first 4 homes to their new owners and have several purchasers now living in rented accommodation or with family waiting for us to complete their new home.

In the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus, public health has, quite rightly, been, and must continue to be, the top priority. In line with the First Minister’s request we closed our construction site at Caerlee Mill, Innerleithen on Tuesday 24th March 2020.

With the lockdown now in its 6th week, we have endured this period with our cashflow effectively cut off overnight at the outset.  Having incurred substantial costs as a result of the site shutdown process and contending with significant ongoing fixed overheads, every day we are closed further threatens our ability to survive the crisis and the prosperity of the areas in which we operate. As one of the few SME House Builders in Scotland, this has already necessitated an adjustment to our workforce by furloughing all our site based and many of our office staff members. Due to the extreme cashflow pressure on our subcontractors and suppliers, many of whom now have no income, we have ensured all of our payments are up to date. Whilst this demonstrates our commitment to our supply chain, it has placed our own business under cashflow pressure. Until we can recommence work, we and many of our subcontractors, who are small independent businesses, will not receive any income.

In terms of our operations, we have been reviewing our working practices to ensure robust measures for safe social distancing are in place to protect workers and visitors when sites re-open.  As an industry we assess risk and implement protective measures on a daily basis. Satisfied that this is the case, it is in this connection that I write to you to seek your support in these unprecedented times.

With your backing, recommencement of home building activity as soon as it considered safe to do so has the potential to kickstart Scotland’s post-coronavirus recovery both in economic and social wellbeing terms.

I hope we can count on your endorsement and look forward to hearing from you. Should you wish to contact me please email eve@whiteburn.co.uk