Smoke can come from many sources such as business and manufacturing processes, bonfires and solid fuel stoves.
It can be a problem if it happens regularly, reduces air quality and affects people's quality of life.
What you can do
If smoke is affecting you try talking to the person or business that is causing it. They may be able to solve the problem without the need for formal action. Find out how to solve a problem with your neighbour.
Some smoke is unavoidable, such as when first lighting a solid fuel fire - smoke control area rules limit what fuel can be burnt when smoke is released through a chimney.
Reporting a smoke problem
If you are still being affected by the smoke please report it to us.
We need to know:
- where the smoke is coming from and who or what is causing it
- when it happens and how long it has been going on
- how it is affecting you - such as having to close windows or not being able to hang out your washing
We can't investigate anonymous complaints. We need your name and address because we will need to visit your property.
We won't share your name and address with the person causing the problem. But in exceptional circumstances your details may be quoted if your evidence is used in court.
We may ask you to fill in record sheets to show us when and how often the problem happens. Photos can help us with our enquiries - but don't take photos if you feel it isn't safe.
Before you start - call us on 01246 345345 if a bonfire is happening during office hours.
Protecting your privacy - find out how we keep your information safe.
What we can do
We can talk to the person or business that is causing the smoke. We will find out what they are doing to control it, and explain what action they need to take.
We will try and resolve the issue informally, but can take a more formal approach if necessary.
Notices and prosecution
If the problem doesn't improve and we find that it is causing a statutory nuisance we will serve a legal notice on the person responsible. If they don't take the action required in the notice we could take further legal action against them.
If they rent their property, they may be breaching their tenancy agreement. We will also check if the smoke problem breaches a planning application or building control notice.
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We deal with smoke nuisance under the Clean Air Act 1993 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.