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Bonfires and barbecues

We have recently received a number of reports of people having bonfires in their gardens. Whilst the occasional one is not an issue having one everyday can become a statutory nuisance and could lead to prosecution. We have also been advised of people burning UPVC and plastic on the fires which may be harmful.

Whilst there aren’t any bylaws in Adur and Worthing there are guidelines which state that:

‘Garden or domestic bonfire smoke can be very irritating and cause stress to those exposed to it. The smoke could potentially contain gases and particles which can affect the health of people with preexisting conditions such as asthma, bronchitis or heart problems. It can also affect the environment and soil washing hung out to dry. There are no Byelaws prohibiting bonfires in Adur or Worthing. With proper consideration an occasional bonfire, or barbeque, should not cause a problem. Bonfires can however cause a statutory nuisance to neighbours, by preventing them from opening windows, hanging out washing, and enjoying their garden, as well as contributing to poor air quality locally. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to cause a statutory nuisance – this includes smoke from bonfires. To be considered a statutory nuisance, the bonfire would usually have to be a regular problem and interfering substantially with the well-being, comfort or enjoyment of your property. However it should be noted that ‘one off’ fires that are very large and produce excessive amounts of smoke and/or are left to burn for excessive periods of time, may also be considered a statutory nuisance if they cause a significant adverse impact on neighbours.’

We would also like to remind residents that for your safety and others Worthing Homes do not allow barbecues to be stored or used on balconies as last summer there was a serious fire as a result of someone using one on their balcony.