Garden bonfires may seem like a traditional and effective way of getting rid of rubbish, especially garden waste, but they can be problematic to neighbouring properties due to the ash and smoke produced. There are no bylaws in Bromley restricting the lighting of bonfires but if a bonfire is causing a statutory nuisance we can take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Ultimately this could lead to prosecution if either our informal or formal approach is ignored.

What is a ‘statutory nuisance’

In order for an officer to assess a statutory nuisance, they will need to witness the impact of the bonfire on your property in addition to assessing the frequency and duration of the fires. There is a difference between a bonfire that is annoying and one that is causing a statutory nuisance which is why we need to take all of these aspects into account.

If the bonfire is a ‘one off’ it is unlikely any formal action will be taken, but an advisory letter will often be sent instead. If it is a persistent problem, we will investigate your complaint and take appropriate action to stop any future nuisance. You may be required to complete log sheets for this purpose. When you contact us we will need the address of the property and where the bonfire is situated, as we cannot proceed without this information. 

Further information is available in our garden bonfire leaflet

If the bonfire is on commercial premises or is a builder’s bonfire please see commercial bonfires for further information.

Report a garden bonfire 

Report bonfire online

Or contact us by telephone or email.  

Public protection

Address: Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Telephone: 0300 303 8657

Fax: 020 8313 4450