Health and safety gone mad?

Some 650 metres of quayside railing at a grade II* listed maritime harbour has been approved on appeal at Ramsgate Royal Harbour (DCS Number 400-026-547).

What do you think, is this health and safety gone mad, or is this a prudent undertaking by a responsible local authority? There are no doubt all kinds of rules and regulations concerning public safety, of which planning bloggers might well be unaware, but it seems to us here that the railings will significantly diminish the visual understanding of the operation and historic function of the harbour.

Nonetheless, the appellant pointed out that the harbour is a publicly accessible space which is used by pedestrians and motor traffic, the inspector recorded, and he saw that beyond the location of the proposed railings towards the water there was a sizeable drop off the edges in many places. Moreover, the appellant had submitted examples of where health and safety issues had arisen over the previous few years, owing in part to the lack of barriers in the places sought. In this respect, the inspector reasoned that the erection of the railings would provide a substantial public benefit that would significantly reduce the potential for accidents for vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians using the harbour. He concluded that whilst the proposal would fail to preserve the special interest of the grade II* listed building and therefore result in less than substantial harm, the manifest and significant public benefits outweighed the harm in this case.

We are wondering why people can’t just look where they’re going.

There is a section on accretions to listed buildings at 27.333 of DCP Online.