A property developer is sending its builders back to its sites in Norfolk after Boris Johnson announced the relaxing of the coronavirus lockdown.

Barratt Developments, parent company of Barratt and David Wilson Homes, has started a phased re-opening of four sites across the region – Knights Park in Watton, Bure Meadows in Aylsham, Kingfisher Meadow in Horsford and Clements Gate in Poringland. It said work would be prioritised on already sold plots at advanced stages of construction.

Mark Cotes, managing director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties, 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.”

The company is not reopening its sales centres or show homes. It said it was continuing to look after its customers remotely.

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

“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.”

Staff will follow protocols created by the company which it says will allow them to continue working on the construction sites following the latest guidance from government, public health authorities and the Construction Leadership Council.

This includes changes to signage, site welfare facilities and compounds, site access and walkways. These measures have been piloted on another site with a nominated social distancing marshal to ensure compliance and the company will provide induction, training and support for its employees and sub-contractors.