BONFIRES....PLEASE DON'T LIGHT ONE

Posted 05.05.2020

Since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic the Public Protection Partnership has seen a 622% increase in bonfire
complaints over the same period last year (from 32 complaints to 231).
We have produced this short guidance for the use of Members and Town and Parish Councils as we are aware that
you are also receiving a number of complaints.
The same information is being given to residents who contact us directly and we have put out a number of
communications about bonfires through social media.
Right now, we are asking residents across the district/borough to think of others and not light bonfires during the
ongoing Coronavirus pandemic lockdown because many people at home are vulnerable and may have respiratory
issues, or even be fighting the Coronavirus itself. During this difficult time we are asking that their needs are put
first.
We are also urging people to consider alternative means of disposal of waste as burning in close proximity to other
properties is always a potential source of nuisance. For instance, if the job can’t wait until the civic amenity sites reopen,
green waste can be composted or stockpiled at home.
Bonfires can also get out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency
services.
While there are no laws against having a domestic bonfire there are laws about causing a nuisance. The smoke or
the smell of smoke from bonfires can cause a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
We would consider taking formal action under the above legislation if a number of justified complaints were
received about the burning. If sufficient evidence is gathered and the Council is satisfied that a Statutory Nuisance
exists then an enforcement notice may be served to prohibit the recurrence of the nuisance. A breach of this
notice may result in a fine.
To report an incident of a bonfire please use our online reporting form here.
Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of any waste or rubbish on public land or sites which are unauthorised to accept
waste. If the rubbish is dumped on private land, the landowner is responsible for removing it. If you find or receive
notification of fly tipped material on private land you will need to inform the landowner. Landowners
unfortunately will have to pay for the cost of disposal of fly-tipped materials.
To report an incident of fly tipping please see links on PPP website here.
A shared service provided by
Bracknell Forest Council, West
Berkshire Council and
Wokingham Borough Council.