From time to time I am asked whether bonfires are allowed in private gardens. While they are a useful way to get rid of garden waste, the smoke can be annoying for neighbours.

There is no specific law banning garden bonfires or the times you can light them. The Council can only take action if the bonfire is causing a statutory nuisance. According to the Environmental Protection Act of 1990 this would be ‘smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance’

Contact the City Council by ringing 457890 or emailing [email protected] if the bonfires are:

  • frequent
  • emitting black smoke
  • burning rubber, plastic, foam or paint

Contact the police if the smoke is drifting across the road so as to endanger traffic, as the bonfire burner could face a fine under the Highways Act of 1980.

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