Child killed by construction site failures on Baker Street despite known risks

This could be the headline reporting on British Land‘s construction site at 2-14 Baker Street operated by McAleer & Rushe. After many months (nearly 10) of site safety failures, serious health and safety lapses and procedures necessitating interventions by Westminster City Council – it seems they continue to ignore BASIC health and safety practices – preferring what appears to be the cheapest ‘quick fix’ solutions.

The picture above is taken at the rear of the British Land site at ‘2-14 Baker Street’. This image is taken to the rear of the site at a narrow pedestrian walkway between Baker’s Mews and Robert Adam Street.

The roadway alongside this pedestrian walkway was closed off 10 months ago without consultation. It is probably illegal in that a lighting standard in the pavement prevents access to wide wheelchairs, parents with wide buggies and the infirm.

It also a death trap.

Residents have been complaining about the site at ‘2-14 Baker Street’ to Westminster City Council, to British Land and to McAleer & Rushe since early in the year about the dangers of this site to members of the public. This includes real dangers posed continuously to date to children living in the vicinity of the site.

But many of these legitimate complaints about the site at ‘2-14 Baker Street’ have not been taken seriously either by British Land or by McAleer & Rushe. Westminster have had to put a consultant on the site in an effort to ‘hand-hold’ the site staff and to ensure that normal and proper safety practices are observed and implemented. But the failures continue.

So here we have a site (2-14 Baker Street) that was not fenced to the rear whilst a major demolition of a building took place – allowing unimpeded access to anyone who wished to wonder under falling masonry and amongst dangerous machines. Work currently involves a digger (visible in the photo) working daily alongside the pedestrian walkway from Baker’s Mews to Robert Adam Street.

Residents, including the author of this post, have observed material falling out over the top of the fence onto the roadway and pedestrian walkway.

The company appears to have realised it must take action. Logic would suggest a rigid structure and in the way of a heightening of the perimeter fence – and/or covering the pedestrian walkway so as to fully exclude the danger of injury or death to passers by.

Logic would also suggest that such works in proximity to pedestrians is dangerous and should cease.

But obviously the considerations for a solution have been based on ‘how cheaply and quickly’ this can be done in preference to meeting proper safety standards and legal and site operational requirements.

So what has been erected appears to be a flimsy piece of netting. It appears to be held in place using plastic cable ties – which would offer little or no resistance to the might of a mechanical digger or heavy construction debris. The netting does not extend very far and does not include the site entrance over which some site materials were seen falling in the past week.

And this is supposed to pretect pedestrians including children and infants from falling site material including concrete, soil, rocks and rubble.

Will it take the death or serious injury of a child or other passer by before proper action is taken against McAleer & Rush and British Land in respect to the woeful failings that continue at ‘2-14 Baker Street’?

Where is the public best interest in all of this? Why are the litany of safety failures allowed to continue week in and week out on this site at ‘2-14 Baker Street’?

Is it that McAleer & Rushe are finding it difficult to service their loan portfolio with NAMA in Ireland – or are they simply a company whose mindset is to cut corners and cut costs at the expense of their legal obligations?

Some of the questions raised about this site at ‘2-14 Baker Street’ and about McAleer & Rushe by the blog NAMAWineLake may be well worth revisiting.

About 10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street

10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street Campaign This blog makes no claim of association or representation of the development known as 10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street in London. This blog is a communication tool only and serves to highlight issues affecting members of the public and residents in the vacinity of that site. The development site at 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) was acquired by McAleer and Rushe in 2005 with a loan from Bank of Ireland. The price paid was £57.2m. Unable to repay the loan, the debt was designated for NAMA. Before NAMA assumed the debt, McAleer and Rushe sold the site back to British Land in 2010 for nearly £30m less than it had paid. The deal appears to have benefited McAleer and Rushe in a number of ways that may not be realised financially by NAMA. This includes a share of the development profits and the awarding of the construction contract to McAleer at a time that their auditors (KMPG) suggest that this company may not be "a going concern". According to McAleer & Rushe's latest available accounts (filed 2011) all the company's debts are "payable on demand" suggesting that they have not met their repayment schedule on their loans. There are ongoing issues at the site at 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) affecting members of the public and local residents. Members of the public and local residents have been put at risk many times and, too date, neither British Land or McAleer & Rushe appear to have faced no real consequences from a regulatory or legal persective. McAleer & Rushe have resorted to threats, harrassment and intimidation towards local residents objecting to unsafe practices and affected by the practices employed on and around the site. There have been a number of safety failures leading to deaths on other McAleer & Rushe sites in the UK. Full information and supporting evidence is available on request to interested parties.
This entry was posted in 2-14 Baker Street, Boris Johnson, British Land, Building Site, Child Safety, Children, Commercial Development, Congestion Charging London, Construction, Construction Deaths, Death, Disabled Access, HSE, London, London Mayor, London Olympics, Mayor of London, McAleer and Rushe, Mob, NAMA, Parking in London, Retail Development, Street Parking in Marylebone, Street Parking in Westminster, Tax Avoidance, Thug, Thuggery, Tourism London, Uncategorized, West End, Westminster, Westminster City Council, Where to park in London and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Child killed by construction site failures on Baker Street despite known risks

  1. Pingback: Q&A: 2-14 Baker Street, British Land and McAleer & Rushe | 2-14 Baker Street

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