The independent London newspaper

The developers of the Swiss Cottage tower should stop the work

03 April, 2020

Close up: workers at the Swiss Cottage site

• FOLLOWING lockdown Boris Johnson declared that “if construction companies continue then clearly they should do so in accordance with the guidance of Public Health England, and they have a duty of care to their employees”.

He goes on to justify his decision for not “closing down the whole UK economy” as being “in accordance with the scientific and medical advice”, as if the medical and scientific community would put non-essential multi-million-pound construction projects before public health.

In his recent “Update on COVID-19”, Sadiq Khan modified his call for a complete ban on all non-essential construction to “spread the start times of work on the biggest sites in London to ease the impact on public transport”.

While this compromise may help minimise the spread of Covid-19 on the tube, it would do little to stop the spread of the virus on building sites, where construction workers often have to work closely together to get the job done.

Despite developers Essential Living covering up all the portholes for viewing into their 100 Avenue Road site since lockdown – this photo (above) shows their construction workers huddling together on-site to build their non-essential, controversial Swiss Cottage tower.

Major builders such as Mace and Wimpey have shut down all their construction sites to limit the spread of coronavirus, as have HS2 and many other construction companies. Essential Living should do the right thing and follow suit.

Chair, Save Swiss Cottage


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