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Smoke and Bonfires

By Vanessa Sewell Rockland St Mary with Hellington Parish Council

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

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Rockland St Mary with Hellington Parish Council Contributor

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Guidance from South Norfolk Council

There are no laws for when a resident can have a bonfire, however commercial bonfires are more strictly controlled. Whether domestic or commercial they must not create a nuisance for people in the local area.

We discourage bonfires as they cause air pollution, upset neighbours and can damage health, particularly of children, older people, and those with breathing and heart conditions.

There are many ways to dispose of waste without burning it, including garden waste disposal through the garden waste collection scheme and other items through the bulky waste collection service.

Most waste, including garden waste, is accepted free of charge at the Norfolk County Council Recycling Centres. There are several located across South Norfolk - please see the Norfolk County Council website to find your nearest recycling centre and check their opening times.

If you do choose to have a bonfire at home, it is your responsibility to ensure it does not cause a statutory nuisance to neighbours. The following precautions should be taken:

  1. Notify your neighbours in advance so you can ensure your bonfire does not interfere with their activities, such as drying laundry and use of their garden
  2. Ensure the bonfire is located as far from your neighbour’s properties as possible and away from trees, fences and anything that could catch fire
  3. Burn only dry garden waste and never materials such as domestic waste, painted items, plastics, furniture, textiles or wet garden waste including leaves
  4. Never use accelerants such as petrol to start your fire
  5. Check the weather conditions and wind direction so that the smoke doesn’t blow into your neighbour’s properties or hang in the air on damp, still days
  6. Supervise the fire at all times and ensure it is totally extinguished at the end.

If you cause a smoke nuisance enforcement action can be taken against you. This could lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if convicted.

You can report a domestic bonfire that you believe is causing a problem via the South Norfolk Council website.

Contact Information

Vanessa Sewell

  • 01508 538955

Find Rockland St Mary with Hellington Parish Council

35 The Green, Surlingham, Rockland St Mary, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 7AG

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