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 550.

    So it is not the top topic on earth,but it is something which affects every household here every day,all year,every year.So it's worth an airing (just like some of the bins that are now only collected every fortnight !). Eric Pickles is right to set the new guidelines but, like his previous guidelines to get food waste bins emptied every week (which was ignored) he really needs to get some teeth !

  • rate this

    Comment number 549.

    There are far more inportant issues at the monent Mr pickles
    Why isnt the youth employment programme working and why is your mate Mrs greening giving nigeria a billion quid for a space programme ?
    STOP diverting REAL serious issues

  • rate this

    Comment number 548.

    why don't the councils introduce large bins at the end of roads for all to use and these can be emptied daily, like abroad! No more unsightly bins on the pavements!
    And hope the bin-men don't go on strike (unlike abroad) turning the end of the road into a conveniently accessible local rubbish tip :-P

  • rate this

    Comment number 547.

    I agree. Wheelie bins bug me. Useful, but a phenomenal amount of plastic! What will become of them when they become rubbish themselves? Here every house has 3. They are massive. My landfill goes out bi-annually but could easily go once a year. My neighbour manages to overfill hers every fortnight, search me how. Are they trash eating aliens that lure people to buy stuff just to throw away?

  • rate this

    Comment number 546.

    But Mr Pickles, we have to spend more, consume more,or the economy will stall, But more consumption means more where does it go?
    Has Eric had a Damascene conversion and wants us to mend and make do, reduce and re-use so we don't have to recycle? Well there's merit in that but he has to understand you can't have your cake and eat it. Tory toxic economy demands throw away culture.


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