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Bonfires and Smoke Pollution

Advice on bonfires and how to avoid smoke pollution. There is no law against having a bonfire, but there is legislation if it causes a nuisance.

Bonfires and the law

  • The law says you can light a bonfire at any time, as long as it doesn't cause a nuisance - there are no specific bylaws against bonfires in this area
  • Having a bonfire every day or a large bonfire may cause a nuisance
  • It is an offence for smoke from a bonfire to drift onto a public highway as stated in the Highways Acts. If this happens, contact the police
  • If a bonfire emits dark smoke - as defined by the Clean Air Act 1993 - then an immediate offence is committed and the Council can take action, including prosecution if necessary.

Bonfires and pollution

  • Burning garden waste creates smoke containing air pollutants and particles
  • Burning man-made materials can be smelly and could release poisonous chemicals into the air
  • Composting garden and kitchen waste is an alternative to bonfires

Smoke Nuisance

  • If smoke coming from another property is affecting your normal and reasonable use of your property, then it might be a 'Statutory Nuisance'
  • Sometimes people are not aware they are causing a problem; try speaking to them first
  • If you don't feel comfortable doing this, or if this is not successful, contact us and we may be able to help
  • Report a bonfire nuisance here