A COUNCILLOR has raised concerns over the introduction of wheelie bins in villages, claiming they will damage conservation areas and be unsuitable for residents’ properties.

Councillor Gerald Lee, ward member for Heighington and Coniscliffe, said many villagers around Darlington would struggle to store the bins as their homes had no rear access, and worried elderly homeowners with steep driveways would find it difficult to leave their bins out for collection.

The bins will be brought in by Darlington Borough Council next year, and Coun Lee has arranged for the authority’s Streetscene team to meet residents on Tuesday and address fears over the new scheme.

Coun Lee, chairman of the Litter Free Durham action group, said he had been contacted by a number of upset residents.

He said: “A lot of properties are terraced houses on village greens and there is no access from the front to the back.

“People are currently carrying black bags through their homes, but they can’t do that with a wheelie bin.

“There are some properties that have driveways like Mount Eiger, they are that steep, and you worry how their elderly occupants are going to manage, especially in winter.

“There will be people who are delighted the wheelie bins are coming, but we have got to do as much as we can and make it easier for those who are not so sure during this period of uncertainty.”

Coun Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and local environment, previously encouraged councillors to work with residents to on the bins.

He said: “The bins are tried and tested, and we now have to get the right routes for collection and councillors must consult with residents.

“I don't want anyone coming back next year saying they have not been listened to.”