There are no laws against having a bonfire but there are laws about causing a nuisance. There are no set times in law which specify when burning may or may not take place. Smoke, or the smell of smoke from bonfires, can cause a statutory nuisance.
Having a bonfire
When having a bonfire make sure you:
• only burn dry material
• never burn household rubbish, rubber types, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint
• never use old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol to light the fire or encourage it to burn
• avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - smoke hangs in the air on damp, still days and in the evening - if it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbours' gardens and across roads
• warn your neighbours if you are going to have a bonfire - they are less likely to complain.
Burning of trade waste
It is an offence to burn trade waste. If you are found burning waste you could be prosecuted and face an unlimited fine. Causing black or dark smoke is also an offence and each offence can incur a fine of £20,000 under the Clean Air Act 1993. If you want to burn plant or natural wood as part of your business, you must apply to the Environment Agency for a D7 exemption. Even if you do not burn the waste yourself it is your responsibility as a business to make sure your waste is disposed of in a suitable manner. See Associated links below for more information on disposing of business or commercial waste.
How do I report a business for burning its trade waste? Call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.