The good news for this Friday morning is that developers such as Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry are all looking to reopen their sites, with the encouragement of housing ministers and that those sites may reopen from as early as Monday.

A word of warning however. Despite these contractors going back to work, there are likely to be difficulties. These will lie not only with the need for strict health and safety protocols and continued social distancing but there may also be difficulties with the supply of materials, transporting of workers and delays caused by existing social distancing requirements; build programmes will already have been delayed by at least 3-4 weeks by the cessation of work and are likely to be delayed further in light of these issues. 

It is therefore time to revisit your contractual obligations relating to your programme of works. If there are long-stop dates or damages payable if target dates are not met, then now is a good time to seek to vary your contractual commitments to give yourself more flexibility on the programming. If you need help or strategic advice on amendments to the build programme or force majeure provisions under development agreements, building contracts or subcontracts, or in the case of funding arrangements with your bank deferring maturity dates under the loan agreements, then please do contact us and we would be delighted to help.