If you are experiencing a problem we ask you in the first instance to speak to your neighbour in order to resolve the problem quickly as they may not be aware of the effect it is having on you. You may wish to contact Mediation who offer a free independent service.
There are no byelaws banning bonfires or restricting the days or times when they are allowed. However, you cannot cause a statutory nuisance which could prevent your neighbours from, for example, using their garden, opening windows or hanging out washing.
If the bonfire takes place on trade or industrial premises, there is an additional power given by the Clean Air Act 1993 where the bonfire is giving off dark or black smoke. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to dispose of waste not from your property, i.e. tradesman cannot bring site waste home and burn it.
We can only take legal action to stop or prevent fires where the smoke or ash is of a type and level that is considered to be a 'statutory nuisance'.
To be considered a statutory nuisance the smoke/ash nuisance has to have occurred more than once, is typically prolonged when it happens and have a significantly impact . Before taking any action you should consider:
- is the fire 'reasonable'
- the time of day it occurs
- where it occurs
- how often does it happen
You can make a formal complaint by completing our Report It Online form.
Further advice on Bonfire Advice.