WORK at three major development sites in Bridgwater has restarted after the lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.

Following new guidance from the Government regarding the construction industry, Persimmon Homes reopened its sites in the town on Saturday – with strict social distancing and health and safety measures in place.

Initially, sales consultations will be on a pre-booked appointment basis only, the developer said.

On-site marketing suites and showhomes have been closed since late March, when the UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown was introduced.

The Government has now confirmed that they can reopen safely, as long as social distancing is applied and additional hygiene measures are in place.

Three sites in Bridgwater – Quantock View and Saxon Fields, both on Wilstock Way, as well as Westminster Walk on Kings Down – were among the first to reopen.

Paul Moody, director in charge of Persimmon Homes Severn Valley, said all Persimmon sales staff had received training to ensure they know how to keep visitors safe.

“We are delighted that we are now in a position to be re-opening these developments in Bridgwater," he said.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of the public and everyone who works on our sites remain the top priority.

“Our sales advisers have worked extremely hard to help existing and new customers during this difficult lockdown period and continue to be able via phone and email. Reservations and completions have, in fact, remained strong despite no face-to-face contact.

“Even so, being able to meet with househunters, albeit at a safe distance, is an important step forward and will be a help for many people. Looking around the showhomes to see the type of properties on offer is also valuable for many people.

“We look forward to welcoming people to our Bridgwater developments in the days and weeks to come.”

During lockdown Persimmon worked closely with its colleagues, sub-contractors and suppliers to develop and test a range of new protocols to enable work to recommence safely, in anticipation of a potential return to its sites and its sales offices.

David Jenkinson, CEO, said: “We support the Government’s view that the housing sector has a key role to play in the UK’s economic recovery.

"The urgent need for new homes has not been diminished by COVID-19 and the new measures announced by the Government will reopen the housing market and allow people to get moving again.

“Our sales colleagues can now begin to return to site but staff and customer safety remains our first priority and we have put in place new protocols and training procedures to enable them to restart operations safely.

“Persimmon decided not to access any form of Government support during the shutdown period and has maintained its commitments to its colleagues and communities in full throughout.

“Now, as we re-start activity, this decision is also enabling us to get back to work swiftly and safely. Persimmon is open for business and we are looking forward to welcoming customers back to site and continuing to play our part in rebuilding Britain’s economy.”