UK construction and property
- Skills | Five construction trades have been added to the UK’s Shortage Occupation List. Bricklayers, roofers, carpenters, plasterers, and construction and building trades n.e.c.(which covers a variety of trades) will now find an easier visa process. However several other trades including steel erectors and scaffolders still await a full decision. The CLC has submitted a lengthy list to the government for consideration.
- Supply chain fragility | The collapse of Midas in February last year left unpaid debts of £87m. More than 700 suppliers and subcontractors have lodged claims.
- Imports | The new Windsor Agreement (which replaces the Northern Ireland Protocol) will ease the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the British Mainland, a move welcomed by the Construction Products Association. Any business with a turnover of less than £2 million will be able to use the easier “green route” which removes onerous checks, but construction (along with animal feed, healthcare, and not-for-profit) will be exempt from that threshold.
- Safety | A study by NBS has found that 43% of construction professionals are unsure about new building safety rules and are unclear on the responsibilities at the planning gateways.
- Inspectors | The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced a £42.5m grant to support the delivery of the Building Safety Act 2022. It will fund the training and recruitment of 110 new building control inspectors and 111 fire protection officers.
- Building remediation | Eight companies have yet to sign building remediation contracts with the Ministry of Housing, despite a deadline of 13th March.
- HS2 | The chair of the National Infrastructure Commission spoke of the delays to HS2 saying “having to decided to build it, we should get on and build it” and “the cheapest way is to build it as quickly as possible”, commenting on the impact of inflation.