Housing Association Say Local Builders Not Passed Over For Work

A recent social housing scheme on Bryher

A recent social housing scheme on Bryher

The housing association that is building two new homes for locals at Well Cross on St Mary’s say islands’ builders have not been passed over for the work.

Some local companies have claimed that a mainland builder has been appointed and they didn’t have a chance to tender.

But the Chief Executive of Cornwall Rural Housing Association, Peter Moore, says although it is true that his association is finalising discussions with a mainland firm, islanders have been considered.

Peter says they’re hoping to contract with a company that they used for their earlier off-island affordable housing projects.

But locals and the prospective builder all had their costs assessed during the tender process for the off-island work, a few years ago, he says. A mainland firm was cheaper.

Peter says locals have successfully won some contracts from the association, including the building of Castle Cottages.

He says they always try to encourage islands’ builders to tender but if he doesn’t know they are interested in work and that they are available, it makes matters more difficult.

He says you’d expect local builders to be more competitive as they don’t need to import labour, but that hasn’t been the case.

Adam Blackwell of Blackwell Building Services says it’s regrettable that costings were based on out-of-date prices, but he’s pleased to hear local builders will now be considered for future projects.