Bonfires - in the garden
Bonfires on domestic premises can cause neighbours problems usually because of the smoke and smell. Burning household waste is no longer an acceptable or environmentally friendly way to dispose of household rubbish.
We have powers to deal with burning if there is significant nuisance to residents which can include dealing with neighbours having regular bonfires. We will not normally deal with a 'one-off' or very occasional neighbour burning waste unless an incident requires urgent immediate attention because of the extent of the problem. If you believe there is imminent risk to persons or property from a bonfire, contact the Fire and Rescue Service immediately, ring 999!
The police can prosecute anyone who allows smoke to drift across a road causing a danger to road users.
What can you do
Approach your neighbour and explain the problem in a friendly way. Most neighbours will be much more considerate in the future when they realise they are causing a problem for their neighbours and will make other arrangements to get rid of their waste. If the problem continues, keep a note of the dates and times of the bonfires and contact us.
Burning of waste is unnecessary, see our recycling, rubbish and waste information for advice on how dispose your rubbish responsibly.
What can we do
We will send a warning letter to the neighbour requesting they stop burning waste explaining that they are subject to further investigation and potential legal action if complaints continue.
If there is a significant smoke nuisance then we can serve a Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice on the people responsible which usually requires them to stop burning. If they do not comply we can prosecute. An offence can result in a fine up to £5,000, which additional penalties for further burning.
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