Misplacement of new communal bins in Kemp Street

Photo:Communal bin in Kensington Place

Communal bin in Kensington Place

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

Photo:Communal bin in Kemp Street

Communal bin in Kemp Street

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

Should they be outside residents' homes?

By Brian Ablett, North Laine resident

The first communal bins arrive in Kemp Street! One is positioned differently from the one that was indicated on the 'official map' (the position was nearer the corner of Trafalgar Street) and is right in front of our dining room window! It totally blocks our view and limits light entering our front room. It is not pleasant eating a romantic evening meal watching people throw their food waste and whatever else into the bin in full view of our table in our small lounge.

This situation also applies to another house in this road.

The bin is in the wrong position for the following reasons:

• Blocks light and view - 'filling the window' of a residential property
• Loss of privacy to local residents
• Limits access to a designated disabled parking bay.

Conservation area regulations:

• North Laine is a conservation area. Strict and costly rules apply to house colours, decoration, and for replacing windows and doors. No extra 'furniture' such as satellite dishes are allowed on the front of the houses!

• This bin hardly fits the description of conservation in any form. How does it fit into 'Victorian' street furniture?   It is not only big and black but is placed next to an ornamental street lamp, so it remains conspicuous and brightly lit at all times! How did this get approved in the first place?

Are there alternative solutions?

• There is a perfectly good alternative site about 20 yards away in Trafalgar Street where it would fit adjacent to a green telephone control box and not block light or obstruct the view of any adjoining houses. It would also be easy to service and empty from that position. This site would also not block a parking bay, thus releasing an additional parking space when moved.

• If it has to be adjacent to a house front they could at least have moved it so it is between two houses and not blocking any windows.

This bin is misplaced. It seems little thought, imagination, or empathy was applied positioning this in such an area where houses open right onto the pavement in front of it. The position of the specific bin mentioned here is not as indicated on the map, so little accuracy was taken in this either!

On a personal level

I purchased this house a few years back when this was a charming area to live in and a great community. I still am an owner occupier and I work from home from time to time. I purchased the house because of its position and its views. When we saw the bin in front of our window my wife's first reaction was to phone the council to check if this was a permanent position for the bin or could it be moved.

Phone call .... no answer after calls ringing for half an hour at a time. So we used email .... automated email response: "Emails can take up to 15 days for a response". Oh how accessible, understanding, empathetic and helpful our council are!

Any further thoughts?

This page was added on 03/07/2009.

I am the inventor of the 'binvelope'. It seems whatever the council do, people don't seem to like it. I have developed a new version of the binvelope now and soon will be showing the new improved version to the council. I am a completely independent company using my own development funds.

So this is why there's a delay. The new binvelope is to have a new hard top, and the front and rear of the box will be strengthened to avoid sagging. The hard top will be domed so that water and dirt cannot collect like on current boxes.

The binvelope was run as a pilot and we have now improved it from the trial run.

Anyone who wishes to discuss the new version, please contact me on 07977 163115.

I am open to all views good and bad on the binvelope.

By Steve Capon
On 02/08/2009

First let me say I sympathise with almost everything Brian Ablett has to say about communal bins and congratulate him on his success in getting the one outside his house moved. But Mr Ablett suggests twenty yards away in Trafalgar Street adjacent to a green telephone box as a 'perfectly good alternative'. However, I don't want a communal bin outside my house either, thanks Mr Ablett! We and many other local residents have only recently succeeded (with the council) in stopping local traders and businesses in the area using what is, and should continue to be, a piece of public space (ie for everyone to use) as their own personal waste storage area. We have only just stopped having to live with that waste virtually on our doorstep all days of the week, regardless of whatever day it eventually ended up getting collected. Originally when I first asked one trader if they could stop fly-tipping outside my house they asked me if I had 'some kind of problem'. I certainly did....their rubbish on my doorstep! Rubbish which they have now eventually been forced by the council to manage a bit more responsibly.

So please, Mr Ablett, think again before suggesting someone else's immediate environment as a 'perfectly good alternative' space into which to shift the problem.

For information I have been living on Trafalgar Street for nearly 18 years now, longer than the current management of the Lord Nelson and longer than all of the businesses in the immediate local area (with the exception of GB Liners), who tend to come and go with the fickle winds of their own financial fortunes. So I feel I have a level of personal investment in the quality of my immediate environment which the traders and businesses don't have. Therefore as a long-term resident I feel I have more of a right to my decent immediate environment than the traders think they have to despoil it! They don't have to live round here after all. So...no more bins in the public space at the end of Station Street please. I suggest right outside the Sussex Tax Shop as a 'perfectly good alternative'.

By Ken Ramswit, North Laine resident
On 07/08/2009

Congratulations to Mr Brian Ablett for succeeding in getting the bin moved from outside his house. However, can anyone tell me where we are supposed to put our rubbish now? I don't think filling Foundry Street's bin with our rubbish will be helping their own problem with the bins.

Can anyone with knowledge of the bin's new location reply to this post please?

By Kemp Street Concerned
On 16/08/2009

Well done Ken Ramswit, you wrote exactly what I wanted to write. I live in Trafalgar Place and we overlook the suggested site for the rubbish bin, suggested by the very generous resident of Kemp Street. If I lived in Foundry Street or any of the other streets where the residents of Kemp Street take their rubbish, I would not be very happy. What is so special about Kemp Street??? A much fairer solution would be to place the rubbish bin in front of everyone's home on a rota basis, eg for two months at a time, so everyone has the inconvienience. That is the only fair solution to the problem that I can think of!!

By Mark Allan
On 04/10/2009

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