Every year the Environmental Health Department receive a large number of complaints about bonfires causing a repeated nuisance. Such nuisances need never arise if due consideration is shown to our neighbours.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows the Local Authority to take offenders to court should their bonfires cause a nuisance to neighbours (i.e. have an unreasonable effect on their enjoyment of their home or garden). Moreover any bonfire on trade premises which causes dark smoke is an offence regardless of whether anybody else is affected (Section 2 - Clean Air Act 1993). The fines could be up to £20,000 for each offence. Persons complaining to the Council will likely be asked to keep a diary of events to assist officers investigating this matter.

Castle Point Borough Council has no byelaws which allow or prohibit burning.

Do's & Don'ts
Should you decide to have a bonfire, kindly note these recommendations: -

DO NOT burn damp grass clippings, or "green" material as this creates thick smoke.

DO NOT burn any oily rags, rubber, plastics or other materials which would inevitably create heavy smoke or toxic fumes.

DO NOT light a bonfire when your neighbours have drying, or are out enjoying their gardens or have windows wide open.

DO NOT leave your fire to smoulder for long periods. Never leave a fire unattended. Hose it down until cold before you leave it.

DO advise your nearest neighbours before you light a bonfire so they can be prepared for any minor inconvenience that maya rise.

DO burn material quickly in small quantities so the minimum amount of smoke is created.

DO choose your bonfire site carefully, well away from trees, fences and windows. Beware of attempting bonfires on very windy days as it can so easily get out of control. Have a hose-pipe and buckets of water handy just in case.

Alternatively, instead of having a bonfire, you could dispose of the materials at the Amenity Disposal Site on Canvey Road, Canvey Island.

For more information please call 01268 882200.