Wednesday 5th August 2020
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To make a complaint call 01582 510330, Mon-Fri, 8am to 6pm, except Wed, 10am-6pm.

Is it illegal to have a bonfire?

There is no law against having bonfires. However, the smoke or the smell of the smoke could cause a statutory nuisance under section 79(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. (See ‘What legal action can be taken?’)

What is a statutory nuisance?

A statutory nuisance is an activity that is prejudicial to health and unduly interferes with a persons enjoyment of their property and land. Bonfire smoke causes air pollution and can make people with breathing problems feel unwell. It can also upset your neighbours preventing them from opening windows, using their gardens, or hanging washing out.

Can I use a garden incinerator?

Burning waste materials in a garden incinerator can also cause a smoke nuisance, so we are asking Luton residents not to use them.

What are we asking Luton residents to do?

We ask all Luton residents not to have bonfires and to get rid of rubbish and garden waste in the following ways:

  • try to compost your garden waste
  • take your rubbish and garden waste to the household waste and recycling centres in Eaton Green Road or Progress Way (off Toddington Road).
  • call us to arrange collection of bulky items/waste on 01582 510333 (select option 1) or visit the special collections for large items page
  • hire a skip

I think my neighbour is causing a smoke nuisance, what can I do?

If you feel comfortable speaking to your neighbour, try having a chat with them about the problem. It may be the case that your neighbour is unaware they are causing a problem.

How can we help?

If you don't feel able to talk to your neighbour, or talking to them hasn't worked, contact us for help. We will write to your neighbour to ask them not to have bonfires in future. We will also tell them about better ways of disposing of garden and other waste.

What legal action can be taken?

We have legal powers to stop a smoke nuisance caused by a bonfire. If a person causes a smoke nuisance, we will serve a notice. A person who ignores the notice commits a criminal offence which can result in an unlimited fine.


 Contact information

Neighbourhood Delivery
Luton Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 510330
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