Smoke nuisance

Garden bonfires and burning domestic rubbish

If your neighbour is causing a problem by burning rubbish, try explaining to them how it affects you and see if you can resolve the issue between you.

If you’re a Council housing or Housing Association tenant, and the person causing you a problem is also a tenant, your landlord may be able to help you.

Commercial smoke

We can investigate and have formal legal powers to deal with the following commercial smoke issues:

Smoke from chimneys in a Smoke Control Area

Approval is required to install a furnace (except domestic) and grit and dust arrestment plant where appropriate.

Under certain circumstances, the height of the chimney serving the combustion plant will also need to be approved by us.

Other than for a short time at start-up or shut-down, the emission of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises is an offence.

If we receive a complaint, we’ll visit the operator to ensure that they’re using equipment that is approved, burning a suitable fuel and that it is being used effectively.

Dark or black smoke

The burning of certain wastes such as plastics, rubber, foam, textiles and painted or treated wood can give rise to black smoke from open fires.

Causing or allowing emission of dark or black smoke from industrial or trade premises by burning materials in the open is an offence.

This type of activity is also regulated by the Environment Agency under waste management laws and is generally prohibited.

Smoke which causes a Statutory Nuisance

If material is burnt and smoke produced at one particular site, for example clearance work at a building or demolition site, which is not black smoke, we may use our Statutory Nuisance powers if the smoke is affecting people at nearby premises.

Cable burning to recover metal

Cable burning is the burning of metal cables to remove the plastic insulation, to allow the salvage or recovery of the metal beneath.

Cable burning is an offence unless authorised as a scheduled activity under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007.

Contact Customer Services

1 Union Street
Howden House
S1 2SH

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