A council has banned rubbish collections from a new housing estate which is ‘too dangerous’ to enter – despite dozens of residents already living there.
Health and safety chiefs put the brakes on kerbside collections earlier this month because the estate is still under construction.
But residents who have been safely living in the completed properties for 18 months have branded the decision “health and safety gone mad”.
Homeowners – some in their late 70s – now have to drag their wheelie bins up to 100 yards to communal collection points at Brynards Park in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts.
Resident David Woollett, 65, who has been living on the estate with wife Kay, also 65, for 18 months, now has up to 50 bins piled outside his home on collection day.
He said: “It was a bolt from the blue. There is no problem coming on to the site or getting off it, and the bin men have been collecting the rubbish for over a year.
“People in their 70s have been pushing and pulling their bins 100 yards to the collection point.
“They are going to have to go up a steep hill to get to a junction at the top of a hill which they then wheel down to the collection point.
“Now on collection days we have 50 bins outside our door.
“It just doesn’t seem to be common sense to say it’s not safe for a bin man but it is for the people who live here.
“People have been living happily here for the best part of 18 months, driving cars back and forth, and no one’s told us it’s unsafe for us to use the roads.”
Neighbour Will Patts, 68, added: “Well it’s health and safety gone mad really.
“Ok, the roads in the area are still under development but if it’s ok for a neighbour in my 70s to walk on, dragging his heavy bin, then surely it’s ok for a young bin men to walk on.”
Another neighbour Kirsty Smith, 35, added: “It’s just silly really – they have taken health and safety too far.”
The decision came after the Health and Safety Executive visited the site in May and advised Wiltshire Council to halt collections.
Developer Wainhomes and the authority decided to place three collection points in parts of the site considered to be safe enough for bin men to use.
After pleas from residents Wiltshire Council has pledged to resume collections in all but one road where building work is being carried out.
A spokesman said: “We are continuing to work with the HSE and the site management and we will be restoring some kerbside collections where it is safe to do so.
“We have needed to introduce alternative arrangements elsewhere on the site where access is affected by the building works. We will keep the site under review and will reinstate other kerbside collections as soon as we can safely access the properties.”
A HSE spokesman hinted the council had misinterpreted advice – and the executive had actually only told them to be careful about collections near unfinished homes.
“HSE gave no advice about the collection of waste on the occupied part of the estate,” he said.
“Advice was restricted solely to the area where active construction activities are taking place. There may have been some misunderstanding about HSE’s advice.”