World War III Hits Westminster at 10 Portman Square

Image taken on 14th March 2012

10 Portman Square - aftermath inside the site after uncontrolled concrete splurge that also fell outside the site onto pedestrian pavement. And this is a 'considerate builder'.....

Many years ago pigs roamed what is now modern Marylebone. The image on the right might be mistaken for a still surviving pig stye. But this is a British Land site under the proud stewardship of McAleer & Rushe. In fact, it might also be mistaken for a war zone.

The site is 10 Portman Square (formerly known as 2-14 Baker Street). This photograph is of the public highway at the rear of the site from Robert Adam Street into Baker’s Mews.

And this is the filth that adjoining and local residents have to live with on an occuplied roadway taken over with no consultation. Would it happen anywhere else in Westminster?

This site proudly displays a ‘Considerate Builders Scheme’ notice on the perimeter at Fitzhardinge Street. It is far from that. Starting January 2011, this site has been an active and real danger to local residents, to vehicular traffic, to pedestrians, cyclists and members of the public. Late February several residents had their cars damaged by concrete from the site. One of the less dangerous incidents on the site to date. On the 14th March 2012 a more serious incident happened – and one that could have had very serious consequences.

This time a substantial spillage of concrete happened at the site perimeter between Robert Adam Street and Baker’s Mews. This spillage is evident both inside the site and outside. The photograph on the right is of the public highway and taken approximately 8 hours after the spillage was evident outside the construction site perimeter.

The concrete outside the site is evident in the unprotected narrow pedestrian pavement between Robert Adam Street and Baker’s Mews. Its effects also affected the roadway in Baker’s Mews. This pavement is used by young children, by mothers and babies and general members of the public.

Local residents suffered concrete splashes on their cloths from this incident – but it could have been much much worse.

One also wonders whether it is ‘best practice’ for a construction site to dispose of concrete spillage down a public drain – as happened on the 14th March at this construction site?

In October of 2011 Westminster City Council Street Licensing division were specifically made aware of the danger to to public – in a communication by a local resident naming this exact pedestrian passageway. There was clearly a danger to the public. There had already been falls of building material from the site onto this pavement. A request was made to oust McAleer & Rushe from their occupation of the public highway. Falling that, a request was made to install a covered walkway for pedestrian safety.

No action resulted. British Land also refused to deal with the concerns – despite several earlier major health and safety failings on their site. McAleer & Rushe adopted the same stance.

Will it take a death or serious injury before anyone acts on health and safety on this site? Is Westminster City Council really a democratic institution? Why are public and resident views and ligitimate concerns not being acted upon?

Why is a company the size of British Land willing to allow it’s brand and reputation to be put at risk by the technically bankrupt McAleer & Rushe? Why is this site continued to be given free rein on what is one of the main Olympic 2012 routes?

Though this site, in the above photograph, may look like something from World War III, this is not Britain at War.

The public and residents have the right to be safe, are entitled to not be put at risk and entitled to have ligitimate concerns dealt with BEFORE incidents such as the one on the 14th March happen.

Notes to Readers: Further information about this construction site can be found on other posts on this blog – and also on the NAMAWINELAKE Blog.



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 10 Baker Street | 2-14Baker Street Campaign, 10 Portman Square, 2-14 Baker Street, British Land, Considerate Building Scheme, Health and Safety, McAleer & Rushe, NAMA, Thuggery, UK Construction News, Uncategorized, Westminster City Council and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to World War III Hits Westminster at 10 Portman Square

  1. Pingback: Westminster City Council Bends the Rules for British Land – Who says Graft is Dead? | 10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street

  2. Pingback: Westminster City Council Bends the Rules for British Land – Who says Graft is Dead? | 10 Portman Square Campaign

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