Government wants household bins 'out of sight'


Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says the government is taking steps to tackle "bin blight"

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New housing developments in England should include sufficient space to store household bins out of view of the street, the government has said.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the proliferation of wheelie bins had created a "blot on the landscape".

New planning guidance about bin storage is being published next week.

But the Local Government Association, which represents town halls, said council planners already ensured there was adequate space for bin storage.

And shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn criticised Mr Pickles for giving "obvious advice" to developers.

Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn says Eric Pickles should focus on "his big responsibly, which is that we build more houses"

The Department for Communities and Local Government said the move would "help avoid bins dominating residential streets" on new developments.

'Mountain of waste'

But there are no plans to tackle what critics call "bin blight" on existing residential streets, a spokeswoman added.

Mr Pickles criticised bin policies under the last government, saying they had "made families' lives hell".

Start Quote

It's good to see ministers taking the street conditions seriously”

End Quote Tony Armstrong Chief executive, Living Streets

"In streets up and down the country, ugly bin clutter has ruined the street scene and the look of people's homes and gardens," he said.

"By ensuring that developers create appropriate waste storage areas when designing new homes, we can tackle the ghastly gauntlet of bin-blighted streets and driveways."

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, a charity which campaigns on behalf of pedestrians, described the move as "a positive".

"Street obstacles and street clutter are a real issue for those with mobility problems, people who are blind and have visual impairments and people pushing a buggy," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"It's good to see ministers taking the street conditions seriously."

But councillor Mike Jones, chairman of the LGA's environment and housing board, said local councils already worked with developers to ensure planning applications for new housing included storage space for bins.

"Nine out 10 people say they are happy with the job their council does to keep their streets clean and tidy and we are constantly looking for ways to improve how we deal with the mountain of waste this country creates every year," he added.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    8.Dacre The Frothing Autocrat
    2 Minutes ago
    What a pointless initiative. Eric Pickles is a waste of space.

    And so are the bins.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    The footprint of new build houses is getting smaller, shoe box houses and match box gardens. There is nowhere to 'hide' the multitude of bins.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Eric Pickles is overseeing the death of the British High St and strangling of Local Authority Budgets affecting tens of millions.
    He decides to comment on "bins".
    What a complete and utter non-story from a complete buffoon on a Minister.I am tempted to say he should be thrown in to a wheelie-bin as reward for such banal nonsense but since I doubt there is one big enough - anyone got a skip?

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Is this really the biggest fish Mr Pickles has to fry? ! ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    This guy has presided over some of the worst cuts to local councils in our history (do you still have a local library – not run by volunteers?) and he’s stating the bleeding obvious about bins. Is there a wheelie bin big enough to put him in?

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Yes this government is right on top of housing issues. I mean the fact that upper middle class Britain has the insult of looking at bins in the morning is a joke. It surely takes the great, out of great Britain. Wait a minute aren't their bigger housing issues such as lack of housing, rising cost of housing g, and poor landlords & tenant damaging people’s lives. Completely out of touch.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Our estate is now 7 years old, and apart from our garage, there's no place to "hide" the bins away. While I agree that they are a blot on the scenery, I'm adverse to keeping my bin in the garage during the summer months as, if I toss the leftovers from a roast on Sunday, after 2 weeks maggots and flies are breeding! Bring back weekly garbage collection and I'd happily hide my bin away!

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    There is your solution :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    I use a Disabled scooter and find it hard to keep on the pavement after the dustmen have been. They seem to take delight in leaving them anywhere. One road has them all over the pavement normally. What with cars parked on pavements and cyclclists there will soon be no room for pedestrains.

    They are a danger to pavement users.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    These comment sections are just pointless. Same opinions every single day, nothing productive said by anyone.

    Like this -

    'What a pointless initiative. Eric Pickles is a waste of space.

    Meanwhile, the govt do nothing about unemployment and underemployment.'

    Why bother.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    And we want this government out of sight.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    The problem is that councils roll the bins out everywhere. They are suitable to larger properties. They are certainly not suitable on small terraced properties where the whole street ends up looking like a bin yard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    You reap waht you sow. Houses converted to flats, multiple bins in terraced areas where access to the rear has been built over...

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic...

    It's kinda sad how hard they try to pander to middle Englanders, please don't fall for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Eric Pickles......Man of the people
    Big Banks
    Lets Divvy out some old Dears money to ourselves
    Kick the Disabled when they are down
    The list goes on and on and on...

    Eric Pickles......"lets get wheelie bins out of sight"
    You honestly couldn't make this Guff up!

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Strange. Considering the vast quantity of litter about I didn't think a lot of people had the brains to use wheelie-bins. They just drop their litter when they have consumed the product. As for fly-tippers - scum of the Earth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    In areas where there is not sufficient space for bins to be stored there should have communal bins that everyone could use and eptied more rugularly. This is common on the continent and works well!

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Most older houses dont have the space to store what will be 4 bins....I know we dont, and we have a garden...short of leaving the bins on the grass..the councils should really have thought about this years ago....

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    At last, someone has noticed that we live in a country where wheelie bins outnumber people. If it's not bad enough that we are forced to have FOUR bins in front of our homes 24/7 they produce them in loud colours.

    Why not make them all anonymous dark grey and just fit different coloured lids?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Great. Bins have a place to chill out, how about people.

    Perhaps a return to Parker-Morris standards for room sizes should also be on the cards.

    Cameroon chased after Boris in support of cyclists perhaps he should follow Boris's lead again and bring in Parker-Morris plus 10% for all new home developments.


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