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Bonfires and Smoke Nuisance

Complain About a Bonfire

What if my neighbour is having a bonfire, should I approach them to put it out?

If you're bothered by smoke from your neighbours bonfire, approach your neighbour and explain the situation. You might feel awkward, but they may not be aware they are causing you a problem. They can't put things right if they don't know something is bothering you.

Action by the Council

If your neighbour doesn't respond well, contact the Environmental Protection team either using the online complaint form below or on 01536 410333.  Officers will offer advice on whether a formal investigation is appropriate. You may be asked to keep a diary to see how often the bonfires cause you a problem. A one off or occasional bonfire is not generally actionable by the Council.

What about smoke from barbecues and chimneas/fire pits?

This would be dealt with by the Council in the same way as smoke from bonfires.

What about smoke from industrial or trade premises?

Different legislation applies to non-domestic premises. Burning waste that does or is likely to produce black or dark smoke is a legal offence. Ideally, waste should be disposed of in ways other than burning as part of a waste disposal contract, especially wastes such as treated timbers, plastics and other man made materials, and large amounts of green waste. For large construction and demolition sites there may be an Environment Agency exemption that allows the site to burn waste in a controlled manner.

For more advice contact the Environmental Protection team on 01536 410333 or e-mail us.

Submit a complaint online