Report a smoke or bonfire problem

Smoke/ bonfire report or enquiry

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Report a smoke or bonfire nuisance

Guidance and advice 

Organising bonfires and fireworks events

Many complaints are received about smoke caused by bonfires, and there is a great deal of misunderstanding concerning the law on this subject. This note attempts to clarify the position. 

Bonfires 

Although Braintree District is not a Smoke free zone and there are no times that you can not have a bonfire, we try and discourage people from burning unless absolutely necessary. We would encourage people to recycle as much as possible or take the waste to your local household waste recycling centre.

If you do have a bonfire, you should be aware that if the smoke or odour is to a level that is effecting the life of others in the locality, action under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 may be taken against you.

Any waste material as a result of DIY activity must be disposed of in the correct manner at your nearest Recycling Centre and material resulting from building works at a house should be disposed of by the builder if they are authorised to transport waste with the Environment Agency. No business should incinerate any waste unless they have a permit from the Environment Agency. Having a permit does not allow you to cause a nuisance. 

Legal controls

Causing issues with smoke and odour may result in the service of a legal notice. Failure to comply with the notice can result in prosecution.

Smoke can also obscure on the roads. Under the Highways (Amendment) Act 1986 anyone lighting a fire may be guilty of an offence if road user's visibility is seriously affected.