Wall/railing minimum height

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    Wall/railing minimum height

    Hi all. We are considering letting a property and are trying to clarify a few things first in terms of regulations we may need to comply with. Any advice you are able to offer would be most appreciated. Our initial query relates to regulations around minimum heights for walls and railings.

    - There is a car park for all properties in the development which is at a higher elevation to the properties themselves (the development is on the side of a hill).
    - The walkway to the properties is accessed by a staircase from the carpark and is approximately 2m below.
    - There is a blockwork wall which borders the edge of the carpark along the length of the walkway below.

    Given this wall is acting as a barrier to the 2m drop the other side would this be classified as a railing and therefore be subject to any minimum height restrictions?

    The development was built circa 1970 so would regs at the time apply or would we need to bring in line with today's regs?

    Would it make any difference if we were letting as a FHL or AST?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    Moderator -I think this needs to be in different place.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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      #3
      What height is it at present?

      Comment


        #4
        It's around 800mm at its shortest point (there is variance along its length due to changing ground level).

        At that height it would be easy for someone to go over it, so we're considering rebuilding it regardless, but just trying to understand where we stand in terms of regs.

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          #5
          800mm isn't very high. If two lads were messing about and one pushed the other, he could easily go over the fence. Or a drunk tenant could topple over.
          I've no idea how high it should be or where to find out. I'd go to a local bridge or somewhere like that, and measure the height of the railings there.
          Perhaps you could add some sort of short metal fence on top of the blocks.

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            #6
            I think bannisters had to be 3ft high (900mm) in Victorian times, didn't they? Maybe you could add railings or something to increase the height?

            Comment


              #7
              I would be paying for a Health and Safety report and follow its recommendations. Local Authorities will prosecute if you have let an unsafe property to an unsuitable tenant and you need to demonstrate that you have considered all aspects of safety for tenants.

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                #8
                Look in HHSRS and it talks about stair handrails etc see...
                https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-professionals
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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                  #9
                  A wall is not a railing.

                  I'd suggest that you need to add a railing to the top of the existing wall in order to minimise the risk of falls.
                  (or build a higher wall).

                  To comply with current regulations then you need to refer to 'Approved Document 'K' - Protection from Falling. collision or impact'.
                  https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ved-document-k

                  The Approved Documents cover all aspects of building/safety regulations and are the designers and builders 'bible': https://www.gov.uk/government/collec...oved-documents

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                    #10
                    800mm isn't very high. If two lads were messing about and one pushed the other, he could easily go over the fence. Or a drunk tenant could topple over.
                    I've no idea how high it should be or where to find out. I'd go to a local bridge or somewhere like that, and measure the height of the railings there.
                    Perhaps you could add some sort of short metal fence on top of the blocks.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've now had a chance to look at document 'K'.

                      Requirement K2, section 3.1, "Protection from falling" says:
                      3.1 Provide guarding in all of the following locations:

                      a. Where it is reasonably necessary for safety to guard the edges of any part of a floor (...), gallery,balcony,roof (...), any other place to which people have access, and any light well, basement or similar sunken area next to a building.

                      b. in vehicle parks.
                      3.2 gives info on the design of the guarding required.

                      The required heights are given in Diagram 3.1
                      Although not secifically mentioning vehicle parks, whichever category/location you choose suggests that the guarding should be at least 1100 mm high from floor level. (So including the height of the existing wall if you put guard rails on top).


                      If there's a risk of a vehicle impacting the wall/railing then you should also consider Section 4, "Vehicle barriers and loading bays".
                      ie. Walls/barriers of at least 375 mm height, that can resist the loads given in BS EN 1991-1-1 and annex PD 6688-1-1.

                      If you buy any make of pedistran guardrail of the type that you see on a roadside (there are plenty of supliers online) and fix it into the ground in front of the existing wall that should be fine for both height and vehicle impact resistance.

                      Those usually come in 2m sections, so you can work out how many you would need and what it would cost.

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