Thursday, 28 January 2010

Royal Sands Development Ramsgate cliff façade job done or is it.

Well no hard hats today no blokes and no scaffolding either, possibly a hurried retreat, I don’t really know the problem being that the council won’t tell me what they are up to which is all a bit daft really.

From my point of view it wastes a lot of my time as despite freedom of information requests and complaints I just can’t get straight answers to straight questions.

An example of what I mean here is that I asked them for the CDM assessment for the site back in October, this is just the site safety plan, well they fobbed me off with the one for the paint job that had already been completed.

I had good reason to ask as there were blokes down there painting the skirting for the hoardings at the time and there was that bulge that could have fallen on them and killed them. Of course they still haven’t provided one and as you know they recently had their contractor down there standing under buckets of concrete that he was hauling up scaffolding, without a hard hat on.

Now right down the line with this site the council seem to have a totally caviller approach to health and safety. OK no one had been killed yet, their advising engineers have told the council in a written report not to put heavy weights on top of the cliff near the edge, well there is still no weight limit there and heavy vehicles are still going up there.

The Environment Agency have strongly recommended to them in writing that the site should have a flood risk assessment and emergency escapes should be incorporated in the new developments design, something that they seem to have completely ignored.

I am not talking about the stupid and unnecessary health and safety that has come in to play in recent years I am talking about the ordinary health and safety regulations that were saving lives in factories and building sites more than thirty years ago when I was working in engineering.

Now we have this latest cliff repair done by people with a lax attitude to safety in a way that looks OK on the outside, but without even the most basic adherence to this sort of construction that uses reinforced concrete, by that I mean you have to compact the concrete to make this sort of construction work something they didn’t do.

This sort of thing happens in the third world, one hears news stories where the concrete hasn’t been made properly and a building or a bridge collapses killing people; frankly I have watched the construction of this thing and could hardly believe what I saw.

Now what I find even more bizarre is that the council are having a cliff repair done further along near the park and there as far as I can see the work is being done to a high standard, with proper safety precautions.

I just can’t understand what is going on here I watched the major work going on to the Wellington cliff façade the work on the cliff top the surfacing waterproofing the concrete balustrade the new railings all seemed to be being done to a very high standard.

The cliff façade wall though, no foundations, all those unfilled cracks, rust coming from underneath the concrete badge, vegetation growing out of the cracks less than a year after it was all supposed to be filled and coated.

I wonder if the firm doing it that had lost heart in what they were doing, they must have been aware of the bulge, the missing foundations, the irregular damp patches that shouldn’t be there, but where do we go from here.

Is the next stage to be expensive litigation between the developer who presumably like me has been assured that the cliff is safe, the council who have there own internal experts, the councils outside technical advisors who are a multinational company and frankly should be good at their job.

Sorry about the strange code appearing in some browsers it would appear spilling wine into the keyboard has more of an effect than just stopping the question mark key from working.


  1. Yet another elastoplast job by TDC, first decent NE'ly gale with a lot of rain and it will be back to square 1.
    Good job for the ordinary people of thanet you are keeping an eye on it Michael.
    maybe one for the district auditor when the accounts are open.

  2. I would not pin your hopes on any Auditor dealings with TDC?

  3. Thats very true, auditors seem to have a blind spot for the apalling way TDC wastes money.
    All the reorganisation, making directors redundant, employing more directors, getting rid of directors ,making heads of service directors must have all wasted millions of pounds.
    And are we any better off ????

  4. i would not of thought so, but it seems the directors maybe!!!!


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