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Smoke pollution - Report a problem

PLEASE NOTE: The Public Health, Protection and Community Services Department has received a large increase of burning complaints since the Government introduced social and travel restrictions. We would like to remind the public of the regulations in connection with burning of any kind.

There is no specific legislation prohibiting the public from burning however there is legislation in place in order to prevent nuisance from smoke. You could be liable to enforcement action and fined if a Statutory Nuisance is established. There is no specific time period in which burning of waste is permitted and a Statutory Nuisance can be caused at any time of the day or night.

Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that commercial waste producers have a duty of care to the environment and human health and therefore it is illegal to burn any commercial waste. This could be building waste from renovation of a property or garden waste from a landscaping company.

Please be mindful of your neighbours during these unprecedented times. 

Bonfires and burning outdoors

A bonfire can be an appropriate way to get rid of wood or garden waste that is not able to be composted. However, if you are burning a bonfire you should take steps to avoid annoying your neighbours. It is wise to only burn dry material during suitable weather conditions and keep the fire away from trees, fences and buildings. There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.

You can dispose of household or garden waste by composting or recycling it at one of our Recycling Centres.

Complain about a bonfire

If satisfied that a complaint of statutory nuisance is justified, an Abatement/Penalty Notice will be served upon the person responsible, occupier or owner of the premises (as appropriate) requiring that the nuisance be abated.

Failure to comply with an Abatement/Penalty Notice is an offence and legal proceedings may result. If found guilty of an offence of this type then the maximum fine is £5,000 on domestic premises and £20,000 to commercial premises.


Report a bonfire problem online


Pollution & Public Health Department
Tel: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 425301