Gardens & wildlife

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Carelet 2015 Inadequate Bin Space

STOP PRESS: Carelet's Gatehouse, now built, was again redesigned so that refuse and recycling communal bins could be stored adjacent to the TPO horse chestnut tree in an outdoor location nearer the street for easier kerbside collection. See 2017 REVISION for a description of the final bin arrangement.

Carelet's application BH2015/01983 to vary the design of their scheme was approved. See the Council's decision. However, further changes to refuse and recycling arrangements and the Gatehouse layout have been approved since as the developer deemed the plans outlined in BH2015/01983 to be unviable.

See The Gatehouse approved and now built in Planning application BH2017/00175. This is substantially reduced in size, losing the function of providing indoor accommodation for individual refuse & recycling bins (which could be protected by key) for the  six large  households.

Instead of having individual bins, residents would have the communal use (at street-level) of:

  1. ONE 1100 litre Recycling Larger Wheelie bin and
  2. ONE 1100 litre Refuse Larger Wheelie bin.
  3. ONE 360 litre Recycling Glass bin

The bins for refuse and recyclables would be outdoors, tucked behind the horse chestnut tree in front of the Gatehouse. The glass bin would be located just east of the entrance to their staircase.

You will need to zoom in on the bottom part of the mid 'Ground Floor' section of Carelet's proposed Gatehouse Plans to see this. The circle (to the bottom right of the diagram) marks the location of the protected horse chestnut tree.

Will the conditions in the Council's decision avoid this?












Carelet is currently developing the site to the NE of Princes Road and to the south of The Waste Transfer Station and The Materials Recovery Centre and the coastway railway. 6 houses (five of three-storeys) are being built. Permission is for a car-free development, but there would be local concern about the extra demand on parking space if the car-free condition was unable to be implemented. It could be that "parking permit apartheid" - where residents in some homes qualify for 2 parking permits while those in other homes (perhaps with greater need for a car) do not qualify for a single permit - proves untenable.

There is also concern about the small size of the pavement-level storage space for refuse & recyclables proposed in Carelet's latest application BH2015/01983 to vary the design of the scheme it is currently building. Carelet's latest application is an attempt to accommodate a lift long enough to carry bicycles from their own store on the lower ground floor to pavement level. However, the layout of the Gatehouse proposed in application BH2015/01983 still looks defective. The proposed variation not only involves loss of landscaping at the lower level, but the area set aside for the refuse & recylables store at pavement level looks woefully inadequate to meet the needs of 6 large households.

Gatehouse layout: inadequate space for bins

For more on (i) how Carelet's Gatehouse design evolved and  (ii) what would happen if the residents required assisted removal of their rubbish,  see answer to Cllr Cobb's questions: Minutes of Planning Committee Meeting 9th June 2010 pages 12 & 13 (16)

Please help to ensure that Carelet makes adequate provision on its own site for storage of new residents' refuse and recyclables. As Carelet's scheme is a car-free development, new residents are unlikely to have the means to transport surplus refuse and recyclables to the tip or to supermarket bins.

Inadequate onsite provision could result in extra facilities being sited on the nearest level ground in Princes Road to accommodate surpluses of refuse and recyclables. Carelet's sole access to the street is on a 1 in 12 hill. The use of the street for extra storage would:

  • undermine community efforts to make our public realm cleaner and more attractive
  • be inviting to fly-tippers

In the design of Carelet's scheme, there is already a walk (plus a journey in a lift) to take refuse & recyclables from the 6 homes located 2 storeys down to the rear of the site (towards the Coastways railway) to the proposed bin store (at Princes Road pavement level).

In the drawing of the proposed gatehouse, facilities for storing post are not present. Anybody delivering on foot or by van who needs a signature would have to stray some distance from Princes Road before continuing their round. Neither is there any store for an Internet food delivery.

All deliveries would have to pass through the Gatehouse, the lift, and two further sets of steps to get to the houses to the west of the site (adjacent to those halfway up Princes Road). Van drivers might need to block Princes Road for a significant period of time while attempting to wheel items such as crates of shopping to the furthest of the properties.

The proposed Gatehouse, the sole access to the site, is too busy even for the functions which have had to be declared in the plans.  A bottleneck both within the Gatehouse and affecting the street would not be good for Carelet's occupants nor for their neighbours or any user of Princes Road.

 BH2015/01983 has now been approved, though it is still my belief that the size of the proposed refuse store is) is inadequate. In my own view, such a small store for the refuse and recyclables coming out of 6 large homes will  not be fit for purpose

How big a bin store is needed for 6 homes?

My own estimate of bin space needed:

4 metres long by the 2.3 metres wide shown in drawings












Click on the picture above and view REFUSE & RECYCLING STORAGE LAYOUT to see the much smaller store proposed in BH2015/01983. Reduce the PDF view to 50% and look at middle section.

Carelet's provision of bin space in drawings for BH2015/01983.

circa 2.8 metres long by 2.3 metres wide











Click on the picture above and view REFUSE & RECYCLING STORAGE LAYOUT to see Carelet's own drawing (BH2015/01983) of the store which I judge to be most unlikely to serve the needs of 6 households. Reduce the PDF view to 50% and look at middle section. There is a scale. Do check my measurements and form your own judgement on whether this is adequate space.

Background to deficiency of Gatehouse

Prior to the approval of the existing scheme [granted by 10 votes FOR and 1 AGAINST on 12th March 2014 in under ten minutes with no debate].

The sweetener offered by Carelet which helped to pave the way for application BH2013/03782 (involving taller houses and lower excavation costs than the previous approved scheme) was that the Gatehouse lift would be made large enough to carry unfolded bicycles. This would mean that they would not need to be carried up the steps.

However, it was clear to those who looked at the drawings then that the enlargement of the lift could not be implemented without sacrificing more important features of the scheme:

  1. There would be loss of the landscaping at lower ground-level near the foot of the stairs. This is unfortunate given the amount of advice the developer received from the Counci in earlier schemes - one involving 4 two-storey houses rather than 6 properties (5 of three-storeys). Matthew Thomas, the Council's then ecologist gave helpful suggestions  on [1] how to shield immediate properties (65-81 Princes Road) from overlooking and on [2] softening long views into the conservation area from the north and east (amenity values mentioned by appeal inspectors who had rejected Carelet's previous schemes).
  2. A much greater concern, also affecting those who will occupy Carelet's homes, is the insufficient size of the pavement-level store for the amount of refuse and recyclables which 6 properties (5 of three-storeys) will generate. This shortcoming stems understandably  from the small amount of street frontage in Princes Road covered by the Gatehouse (scheduled to become 83 Princes Road). The 6 large houses to be located behind the existing terrace of 67-81 Princes Road will stretch halfway up the hill.   A pavement-level store of insufficient size to cater for this large amount of new develpment is likely to result in rubbish storage spilling out into Princes Road.

    Space for routine storage of refuse & recyclables appears to have been underestimated. There are further oversights:
  3. The plan for bulkier items, such as old matresses, is absent from the application. It may be pertinent to ask what the arrangements for disposal of larger items are.
  4. A forward-looking design might have included its own composting scheme &/or street-level storage space for garden and food waste collections given that (i) the gardens of the 6 houses abut the railway corridor and (ii) the benefits of composting our city's food waste are likely to be felt most by residents affected by odour escapes from the municipal Waste Transfer Station directly to the north of Carelet's site.
This page was last updated by Ted on 30-Mar-2019
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