Rejected plan for railings at La Haule to be reconsidered

Photo montage of proposed railings at La Haule. Picture: IHE/Antony Gibb Ltd. (38009743)

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to install railings along a section of the La Haule promenade – condemned as “wasting everyone’s time”, “whimsical” and “symptomatic of a department with time and money to waste” – are to be considered again by the Planning Committee.

Infrastructure, Housing and Environment has asked the committee to review the department’s recent decision to reject a planning application for a 225-metre run of post and rail safety railings extending from the anti-tank wall west towards La Haule slip. Similar plans were rejected in 2020, while an alternative involving a 300mm high wall was also thrown out.

When the latest approach was published in January, it aroused near universal criticism from members of the public responding – of more than 20 submissions, only one was in favour.

Those responding called for common sense with more than one characterising the government’s approach as embodying “the nanny state”.

One writer said: “I can’t quite believe you’re wasting everyone’s time with this when it’s already been refused twice… All you’re doing is creating another eyesore that nobody wants and wasting money in the process. Stop looking for problems that aren’t there and utilise your time fixing more pressing [ones].”

Another objector said he frequently walked and cycled the promenade and never ventured near the edge of the path, adding: “It’s just common sense. Likewise, I use many cliff paths on the north coast and often take visitors to see Grosnez Castle to admire the cliffs and scenery there. So do these other locations also need railings?”

However, the applicant’s design statement says the approach was prompted by a letter describing a “near fatal accident” in 2019 when a pedestrian fell from the promenade on to the beach below. Another letter from a member of the public two years later expressed safety concerns about the lack of barrier between the promenade and the beach below, the department said.

In March, Planning formally rejected the latest application because it restricted uninterrupted views over St Aubin’s Bay and the settlement of St Aubin; and because it failed to preserve or enhance the settings of the historic listed German Occupation anti-tank wall and La Haule slipway. Now the Planning Committee will review that decision.

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