Storage, servicing, and utilities

Goal: Design in servicing requirements at the outset

  p56. The quality of our streets and spaces can be undermined by the clutter of bins, bikes, and services if these are not properly designed into the building. Screening and enclosures, which can add to the character of a street frontage, are a useful tool in providing waste storage without detracting from the street scene. The provision and location of utility requirements should be considered at an early stage to minimise potential conflict and reduce the impact. Whilst most utilities run underground, they have an impact on where trees may be planted within the public realm. Those above ground, in the form of supply boxes, can be unsightly. When considering bin storage, imaginative solutions should be considered that incorporate storage as part of the front façade and provide visual screening from the street scene. When designing cycle storage, consider ease of access, as well as bicycle security, to ensure the facilities are used as intended.

General design considerations for waste and cycle storage

 figure 29

  Figure 28:
Design considerations for bin and cycle storage


Inform your design:

Indicate the location of bin storage area;

Use your character assessment to inform the design and choice of materials for your bin storage

Communicate your design:

Prepare a plan indicating what type and size of amenity space has been provided for each residential unit;

Prepare a plan showing the location of bin storage areas and collection points and the access provided between the two, including ensuring adequate accessibility to bin storage for those with mobility issues and impairments;

Prepare a plan showing the routes for service vehicles to access each building/ dwelling, also known as a Swept Path Analysis or Vehicle Tracking Plan;

Provide design details of bin storage areas, utility boxes, cable runs and maintenance access points.

Support your design:

National Design Guide (2019)

National Design Code Part 1: The Coding Process (2021)

National Design Code Part 2: Guidance Notes (2021)

Building for a Healthy Life (2020)

Manual for Streets 1 (2007)

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils’ wheeled bin policy and waste planning guidance (2015)

Waste management in buildings – code of practice, BS5906 (2005)


Waste and cycle storage solutions
Cycling storage
Example of bin storage area incorporated into elevation (Tadpole Garden Village)
Bin storage areas should be considered as part of the architecture (Newhall, Harlow)

Ensure the scheme:

    1. looks at potential innovative collection systems for waste and recycling to help meet the targets of Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy. This could include: reduction, reuse, recycling, diversion from landfill, and restricted volume of residual waste storage. Begin discussions with waste officers at the earliest possible opportunity so that the viability of the scheme can be assessed early in the process;
    2. Storage areas should be convenient for residents (integrated as part of the frontage or in a communal collection point if necessary), be visually screened from the public realm, unobtrusive and should avoid long access routes;
    3. provides access between bin storage areas and collection vehicle access. Long and/or narrow paths/alleyways between rear gardens and the collection point should be avoided;
    4. gives convenient access for service vehicles that avoids the need to frequently turn around, with priority to through routes;
    5. integrates services such as substations, utility boxes, cable runs and maintenance access points positively into the scheme. These should not conflict with landscape features, drainage, tree planting (leaving enough room for trees to establish themselves) and/or the design of the public realm.

Note: All design principles are applicable to all scales of development unless otherwise specified; *minor applications, **major applications