Smoke can be considered a statutory nuisance if it affects people or property. It may be an offence whether or not if it affects anyone.
The Clean Air Act 1993 makes it an offence to burn anything on an industrial or trade premises that gives rise to dark smoke. This would include plastic, insulating materials (e.g. foam) tyres and treated/ painted wood.
Barbecue seasons can vary depending on the unpredictability of British weather and in some circumstances, the smoke can become an issue.
Approach your neighbour explaining the issue; it may be a case of relocating the BBQ further away from your property.
If this does not resolve the issue and your complaints are disregarded, we can look at the smoke caused and if the activities are unreasonable.
There are no set times for having a bonfire. However, bonfires can be dangerous and regarded as a nuisance if it affects people or property.
When a complaint is made, we will investigate to identify if the bonfire is a statutory nuisance.
If this is found to be the case and the bonfire continues, we will serve an abatement notice. In these cases we consider prosecuting the source. Although prosecution regarding domestic bonfires are rare, you may have to give evidence in court.
Before making a complaint
Approach your neighbour and discuss the problem to find the best solution. If this does not resolve the issue we may be able to help you.
When a complaint is made, we will investigate to identify if the smoke is a statutory nuisance.
We will require sufficient and accurate information and normally we must collect further evidence to build a case. If a statutory nuisance is identified, we must serve an Abatement Notice regarding the source of the problem.
If we serve a notice and the smoke continues, we may consider prosecuting the source. Although prosecution regarding domestic smoke is rare, you may have to give evidence in court.