Despite a quarter of construction projects currently suspended due to coronavirus concerns, industry analysts, Glenigan, suggest that an uptick in planning application approvals offer a route to economic recovery.
Despite a significant slowdown across the economy, Glenigan found that there is a strong pipeline of works in the construction sector, enabling the sector to bounce back when economic conditions begin to return to normal. March saw many regions across the UK see the total number of approved of planning applications reach higher figures than 2019. In the North-West, planning approvals were up around 60% on March 2019; Wales saw the highest jump on last March’s figures.
Currently, the construction-sector analysts estimate that £55 billion of construction projects have stalled due to the coronavirus outbreak (approximately one-third of projects by value) since social distancing restrictions were put in place in March. The impact of this has been widespread furloughing of staff in the construction sector, and many self-employed workers being laid-off.
However, Glenigan believe that the uptick in planning approvals represent longer-term opportunities for business, and represent hope for the wider economy in the future. The analysts predict that health, community, education and social housing have the best potential to bounce back after the crisis.