Question: Is there a legal obligation to put guardrails in place along the top of a wall in a communal grass area?
Background: Our UK terraced property has some communal outdoor grass areas which lead to the top of a 2m walled drop down to the road. The wall has "battlements" (rocks extending periodically from the top), but is very low if approached from above, along the grass areas. A reckless person could potentially fall to the road from the top; however:
(a) there are no paths leading through these grass areas towards the wall-drops
(b) these grass areas are out-of-the-way: the designated paths pass down handrailed stairs, next to the wall-drops, or across them at a distance of about 5m from the top of the wall-drops
(c) there have been no accidents, RIDDOR reports, etc. in the 17 years the property has existed in its present form related to these wall-drops
(d) the grass areas are intended as decorative areas, not for traversal
(e) there are neighbouring children who pass by occasionally
Situation: There are two of these wall-drops. A recent ill-advised management decision removed bushes which were near these wall-drops. These bushes prevented access to one of the wall drops; the other was unguarded. Now the management is considering placing railings, at considerable expense, along the tops of the walls and around the grass areas because of "health and safety". Are such railings a legal obligation? Is anything required, or would "Keep off the grass" signage be sufficient? Would bushes identical to what was there before (blocking access to one wall-drop only) be sufficient?
Other research: My own research has uncovered two similar case studies on the HSE webpage, under the mythbusting section:
(a) A 25-year-old pond (comparable age) did not need railings
(b) A very similar situation had railings as a "sensible approach" but recommended further discussion to find alternatives