title="Groby Parish Council in Leicestershire">

Council Offices
Village Hall, Leicester Road
Leicester LE6 0DQ
0116 287 6985

News  »  Air Pollution - Bonfires and smoke nuisance

   Air Pollution - Bonfires and smoke nuisance    4 March, 2013

Air Pollution - Bonfires

Smoke nuisance


Bonfires are the subject of many complaints to local authorities. Smoke can prevent your neighbours enjoying their garden, opening windows or hanging washing out and reduces visibility in the neighbourhood and on roads. Allotments near homes can cause particular problems, if plot holders persistently burn waste.


Barbecues also cause smoke nuisance, especially if you use lighter fuel. Please be considerate. If you are having a barbecue tell your neighbours, check with them - they may wish to close their windows or bring their washing in.

The law and bonfires

It is a common misconception that there are specific by-laws to prohibit bonfires and BBQs - there aren't. An outright ban would be difficult to enforce; the occasional bonfire may not cause a problem. Bonfires can be dealt with under the nuisance legislation covered in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. In this case the Police should be contacted.

Guidelines for safe bonfires:

  • Only burn dry material
  • Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint
  • Never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or encourage it
  • Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - smoke hangs in the air or damp, still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbour's gardens and across roads
  • Avoid burning at weekends and on bank holidays when people want to enjoy their gardens
  • Avoid burning when air pollution in your area is high or very high. This information is included in weather forecasts; alternatively, you can check by ringing 0800 556677
  • Never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder - douse it with water if necessary

Better still, avoid having bonfires by using compost garden waste, or use H&BBC's Green Waste Scheme (brown bins) to take away garden waste. More information about garden waste

Clear Air Act 1993

In addition to the powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with smoke, certain emissions of smoke from industrial, trade and business premises are covered by the Clean Air Act 1993.

Other than a very small number of houses in Witherley, there are no smoke control areas within the borough

Groby is not in a smokeless zone, but if you have a persistent issue with bonfires, please report it to H&BBC and they will investigate it.

Telephone: 01455 238141

Argents Mead, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1BZ

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Page last updated: 21 August, 2013