Bonfires

Domestic Bonfires

In Breckland there are currently no smoke free zones, byelaws or restrictions on having a bonfire at a domestic residence; however, you must ensure that your fire does not cause a nuisance to nearby roads and houses.

Please click on the related website at the bottom of this page to 'report a noise or nuisance problem'

If you want to report a nuisance to us you can use the link at the bottom of the page.

Before you have a bonfire you should consider the following points:

  • Consider another method of disposal first, such as composting or recycling. Further advice can be found here: Rubbish and Recycling Collections

  • Bonfires should be occasional

  • Liaise with neighbours before you light a fire

  • Check weather conditions and wind direction before lighting a fire.  On damp still days smoke hangs on the air.

  • Garden rubbish should be dry before burning to avoid smoke

  • NEVER burn plastics, foam, tyres or household waste.  These materials can produce toxic fumes which are harmful to health and the environment.

  • Never leave a fire to smolder unattended; put it out before you leave.

The council will not get involved in one-off issues or if smoke is arising infrequently from different premises.  If smoke is from bonfires on allotments you should contact the local town/parish council (or landlord of the allotment) in the first instance, as they may have their own rules and regulations.  Smoke causing a danger to the highway should be reported to Norfolk Police.

In the event that you are being bothered by smoke from frequent fires from the same premises you should try speaking to your neighbour about it first.  They may not be aware that they are causing a problem.  If this does not work you can contact the Environmental Protection Team and your complaint will be investigated as a statutory nuisance.  Further details on how to make a complaint and the investigation process can be accessed below.

Dark/Black Smoke

It is an offence under the Clean Air Act for a business to create dark smoke and this should be reported to the Environmental Protection Team as soon as possible.  However this can also be reported to the Environment Agency on their incident hotline 0800 807060 - they have out of hours cover and legal controls over inappropriate waste disposal.

Dark smoke legislation does not apply to domestic properties.  Where dark smoke arises from a domestic property it can only be investigated as a statutory nuisance.

Trade waste

The burning on a business site or transportation of trade waste to domestic premises for burning should be reported to the Environment Agency.  Transporting of waste without a waste carriers licence and burning without a permit are offences.  This also applies to farmers (with certain exceptions) and construction sites.