Bonfires

Even one bonfire can spoil the environment, and annoy neighbours by making their homes dirty

What are the risks from bonfires?

Smoke from bonfires and burning rubbish contains irritating, sometimes poisonous substances.

Don't use a bonfire to dispose of domestic waste

You can't get rid of household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people's health. This includes burning it.

Our booklet lists easy ways to dispose of rubbish instead of having a bonfire. For example:

pdf icon Nuisance bonfires [89kb]

Report a bonfire to us

If smoke from a neighbouring house or business is affecting your quality of life, let us know using the online contact form.

Report a problem bonfire

Alternatively call 01303 858660 or 01303 221888 out of office hours.

What information do I need to provide?

Tell us as much as you can about:

  • how the problem affects you
  • how significant the problem is eg how often it occurs, and how long it lasts

What we can do

If we decide the problem is causing a statutory nuisance:

  • we'll try to resolve the problem informally, by offering advice and guidance to those responsible
  • if that doesn't work, we can sometimes take action under the Environmental Services Act, which carries fines of up to £20,000

We can also declare a Smoke Control Area. This means that:

  • people can only use authorised fuels, or exempted furnaces and boilers
  • chimney smoke is not allowed, with only a few exceptions

People who don't comply can be fined up to £1,000 for each offence.