After a month long trial, focused on finishing homes near completion, Bellway is raising production and has restarted work on around 230 sites.
Jason Honeyman, chief executive, said that over the coming weeks, the careful introduction of further social distancing working practices would enable more than one tradesperson to work in a home at the same time, albeit on separate floors.
He addded this would get more people back to work and increase the construction rate, while maintaining a safe onsite working environment.
Since the March lockdown period, Bellway completed 708 homes, although overall sales from August to May were 12% down at 6,721 homes compared to last year.
Honeyman said: “Our priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and subcontractor workers.
“With this in mind and following updated Government guidance with regards to restarting the housing market, we have carefully and gradually recommenced onsite construction and sales activity in England and Wales, whilst introducing strict social distancing requirements.
“This measured approach has enabled us to continue serving our customers and has facilitated the safe return to work for many of our employees.”
Bellway furloughed around 75% of its workforce, principally comprising directly employed site tradespeople, site managers and sales advisers. These were kept on full basic salary throughout April and May.
He added that forward sales remained strong with an order book of 6,038 homes compared with 6,312 homes last year.
This, together with Bellway’s responsible site re-opening programme, should enable the group to preserve its strong liquidity position in the months ahead, said Honeyman in a trading statement this morning.