Bonfire and smoke

Bonfires can cause nuisance to neighbours from smoke and smells.

Bonfire facts

  • There are no laws governing times when you have a bonfire.
  • Bonfire smoke contains potentially harmful gases and particles which can cause    damaging health effects.
  • Smoke prevents your neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging washing out, and reduces visibility on roads.

Domestic premises 

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the council has the power to take action when smoke from bonfires is causing a statutory nuisance to neighbouring properties, you could receive a fine of up to £5000.

Best ways to dispose of your garden waste:

  • Make compost from your garden waste
  • Recycle your garden waste in the green recycle bins provided
  • Use a shredder to reduce small branches and twigs to chippings which you can spread on the garden
  • Take it to a waste site that has green waste recycling.

What can you do if you are bothered by domestic bonfire smoke?

If a bonfire is causing you a nuisance, it is best to approach the person causing it and politely make them aware. Often people are not aware that they are causing a nuisance. If the problem continues, contact the Duty Environmental Health Officer on 01923 278503.

Business or trade

Burning of commercial or trade waste is not allowed on any site, without permission from the Environment Agency. Businesses have a legal obligation to dispose of waste in a proper manner and may be prosecuted for failing to do so. The Council will investigate complaints of businesses using bonfires to dispose of waste.

Bonfires with smoke affecting the road

Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. Contact the police via their non emergency telephone number 101 if this is the case.

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