By Shah Amin

Senior Staff Writer

9 April 2020

| | 2 min read


Building work and social distancing

Construction work on a primary school in Newcastle is expected to resume next week after assurances were made about social distancing.

Construction is expected to resume next week

Workers are expected to be back on site in Newbiggin Hall where a new Simonside Primary School is being built on behalf of Newcastle City Council - possibly as early as Tuesday. It follows health and safety assessments which concluded work could be carried out in accordance with social distancing.

However, work at Gosforth Academy to build a new classroom block will not resume after risk assessments concluded social distancing could not be practised safely because of the stage they are at in the project.

Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak Newcastle City Council has stressed the importance of everyone following Government guidance around social distancing to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

Throughout the crisis Government has told the construction sector it can continue to work so long as social distancing can be properly practised.

The council has been in discussions with Aura, its local education partner, and Robertson Construction Group, principal sub-contractor, about work at Simonside Primary and has received assurances that because of the stage of the project, work can resume again after it was temporarily halted when the Government announced the national lockdown last month. 

The companies have assured the authority they are fully aware of their duty of care to their staff and to the public to ensure that social distancing takes place at all times.

The construction site at Gosforth Academy where new classrooms are being built will stay dormant until Government relaxes the current restrictions. The contractor is still assessing whether it is possible to implement alternative working methods and safely resume work under the current Government guidelines. 

The council is in talks with Gosforth Academy and exploring all options to minimise any impact on school places if there is a delay to the new building opening for September 2020.