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Closure of building sites will ‘affect delivery’ of new homes – construction bosses warn

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Construction site. Stock image.

Construction site. Stock image.

Construction site. Stock image.

Closures of construction sites will result in delays for those who are waiting on their new homes to be built, it has been warned.

The Cabinet is due to discuss proposals to close schools until the end of the month, as well as non-essential construction sites. However, essential construction developments such as social housing or schools projects will be permitted.

200,000 construction workers returned to work this week and it is believed that 50,000 workers will now be out of work.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Developer Michael O’Flynn said that this will result in knock-on delays for those who are awaiting their houses to be finished and impact delivery.

“A lot of people have made commitments to buy houses and have made commitments to make,” he said.

“Of course it will affect delivery, it will affect delivery for all of us, we have commitments made to buyers, we have a situation where people are expecting their houses in February, March, April of this year. How can we possibly deliver these houses if we are stopped? What’s the knock on for those people?”

He insisted that construction can operate while being compliant with Covid-19 safety guidelines.

“Construction is regarded as being something that can operate and I would be saying very strongly there has to be logic, consistency in approach here.”

Builder Brendan Hennessy mirrored his views, saying that construction workers have been taking every precaution since the beginning of the pandemic, including stopping carpooling to get to sites.

“You’re looking at people that are travelling from south Galway, from Longford, from Wicklow, towards the Dublin area. All these people are travelling every day on their own,” he said.

Davy Research, provider of stockbroking, wealth management and financial advisory services, said that Ireland’s housing crisis will be “exacerbated” by these new measures.

“The new restrictions are likely to materially impact Ireland’s residential activity in 2021, and any rebound in housing completions relative to an already impaired 2020 out-turn is now likely to be muted,” reads research from the provider.

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