Smoke, bonfire and chimney pollution

Bonfires and smoke

We have powers to deal with smoke nuisance from any bonfire and for dark smoke offences on commercial and industrial premises.

For domestic properties, there are no laws which prohibit having a bonfire and there are no set times in law which specify when burning may or may not take place. However, it is still possible for bonfires to be considered a statutory nuisance.

Reporting smoke problems

When does a bonfire become a statutory nuisance?

Whilst there is no law against having bonfires, it is an offence for the smoke, or the smell of the smoke, to cause a nuisance. Smoke from garden bonfires in a residential area can seriously affect the residential amenity and enjoyment of other premises.

For a bonfire to be a statutory nuisance we would consider the following:

Our policy on bonfires is to seek the co-operation of residents in avoiding nuisance from bonfires by asking that garden waste and other material is composted or recycled. If there is no alternative to having a bonfire then the burning should be carried out when the weather conditions are suitable. Further information on bonfires can be found by clicking the link below:

Smoke from chimneys

Smoke from domestic chimneys can also be dealt with in certain situations. For further information on using solid fuel for home heating see:

Under the Clean Air Act 1993, we control smoke emissions and the height of chimneys. To get approval for a chimney, you will need to fill in our form, which you can download below:

We aim to give you a decision within 28 days of seeing your application, unless we all agree it has to take longer. Remember you may also need planning permission for your chimney.

Contact details

Environmental Protection Team
Email this service
01327 322323

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