Some sources of air pollution, such as smoke, dust and smells can cause nuisance to neighbours and communities, and affect air quality in the district. There are a number of different laws in place to stop air pollution and nuisance which we have powers to deal with.
Smoke from Chimneys
The Wakefield district is covered by a Smoke Control Order. This means it is an offence for smoke to be emitted from chimneys. Any heating appliance in a building with a chimney or flue is covered by the Order, including domestic fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, range cookers and boilers. To comply:
For a list of exempt appliances, authorised fuels and further information on Smoke Control, visit the
If smoke or other emissions are coming from an industrial chimney then it is likely that other specific controls may also apply. For example, the need to have an
Smoke from Bonfires
Bonfire smoke can be very irritating to neighbours and so we strongly recommend alternatives to burning waste, such as composting and recycling. For more information about how to dispose of waste visit our Bins and Recycling page.
It is not against the law to have a bonfire, but if you do decide to have one it is against the law to cause a smoke nuisance to neighbours, here are some tips to help prevent complaints:
Ask neighbours if they mind you having a bonfire
Make sure material isn't damp or contaminated with paint, bitumen, plastic or rubber
Don't burn plastic, tyres, oil, foam, batteries, aerosols or household rubbish
Ensure the wind direction doesn't cause smoke to drift towards neighbours or cause a danger to traffic
Don't leave a fire unattended, smouldering or let it get out of control
Avoid burning when people are out enjoying their garden at weekends and bank holidays
Commercial operators are not usually allowed to burn waste unless they have a Permit or have an Exemption from the
Bothered by Smoke, Dust or Smells
We have produced a leaflet
Your Neighbour, Your Choice which explains your options for dealing with neighbour complaints, but if you are affected by smoke, dust or smells from domestic or commercial premises then contact us for help.
We have provided guidance to help you manage
construction site dust.
What action will the Council take?
We aim to provide the most suitable response to each complaint received. In most cases a simple advisory letter is all that is required, but if this doesn't work then our officers will investigate to see legal action using statutory nuisance powers is required. See our guide:
What is a Statutory Nuisance?