Smoke nuisance

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You can report the following types of smoke to us –

  • house chimney smoke
  • domestic bonfire smoke (including bonfires on allotments)
  • industrial chimney smoke
  • industrial bonfire smoke

What happens next

We investigate depending on the type of smoke nuisance you have reported -

House chimney smoke

We visit the house to investigate the appliance(s) and / or which fuel is being burned. We will send the occupier a notification of the offence(s) within four working days if they -

  • are not using either an exempt appliance or authorised fuel
  • have acquired wood for use in a building in a smoke control area
  • are emitting dark smoke from their chimney

If the offence continues the occupier may be prosecuted. Fines on conviction are up to £1,000.

If the occupiers are using an exempt appliance or authorised fuel the case will be closed.

Domestic bonfire smoke

We contact the person responsible to advise them of the legal position and ask them to put the bonfire out as long as this does not cause a bigger problem due to ash and steam.

If we assess that smoke from the bonfire is or is likely to cause a statutory nuisance we serve an abatement notice on the person responsible. This notice states that the person reduces or removes the nuisance and prevents it from happening again. Failure to comply with the notice is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 plus an additional fine of up to £500 for each day that it continues.

Industrial chimney smoke

We visit the premises to investigate appliances and fuels in use. We also give advice on how to comply with the law. If an offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 has been witnessed we send a letter to the person responsible for the offence. Legal action may follow depending on the circumstances.

Industrial bonfire smoke

We contact the person responsible for the smoke to explain the law. If an offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 has been committed we send a letter to the person responsible for the smoke within four working days.

We may also record evidence for possible prosecution actions for offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or serve an abatement notice to remove the nuisance and prevent it from happening again.