This page provides information about garden bonfires including laws and guidelines.
Although garden bonfires may be lit at any time, they are often likely to cause a nuisance to neighbours and should be avoided wherever possible. The reasons for this are:-
- the smoke, smuts and smell from bonfires often prevent neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows and hanging washing out,
- bonfire smoke is a polluter of air and may cause particular problems for people with certain medical conditions such as asthma and bronchitis and
- safety - fire can spread to fences or buildings and smoke drifting across a road may cause a traffic hazard.
As an alternative to a bonfire, we encourage all residents to make full use of our garden waste collection service.
The law relating to bonfires
Bonfire smoke is covered by the statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
There are no laws or by-laws in Oadby and Wigston to restrict bonfires to certain times of day or certain times of the year.
If you feel it is essential to hold a bonfire, please show consideration to your neighbours and always take the following precautions:
- Keep the frequency of bonfires to a minimum.
- Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions. Smoke tends to hang in the air on damp, still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbours' gardens and across roads.
- Only burn dry material as this produces far less smoke than burning damp material.
- Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint.
- Never use old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol to light the fire or encourage it to burn.
- Ensure that bonfires are sited with care and properly supervised to minimise the chance of causing annoyance to neighbours and prevent the fire spreading.
See related documents below to download a Garden Bonfires leaflet.
There is nothing to stop this but remember amplified sound and/or a live band will increase the chances of causing a noise disturbance to your neighbours.
Generally speaking, we do not encourage live, amplified music at private homes as most homes in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston are very close to others and there is a good chance that the noise will cause a disturbance.
We strongly advise that you finish at a time that neighbours will consider reasonable.
Again there is nothing to stop this but the longer noise is made, the greater is the chance that you could cause a statutory nuisance and that your neighbours will have a genuine complaint.
If you must have a number of parties over two or more days, you should make extra sure that your neighbours are prepared for this and agree with them acceptable finish times. These times might be earlier than you would like, but where people live close together and are easily affected by activities at someone else’s home, you do need to show consideration and courtesy.
Fireworks are inherently dangerous explosives and need to be used with extreme care.
Always follow the safety advice on the instructions.
Your garden should be sufficiently large to enable guests to stand well away from the lighting area and it is not a good idea for someone under the influence of alcohol to light them.
There are also time restrictions when the law allows fireworks to be lit.
Visit our fireworks page for more advice about using fireworks safely and within the law.
There are no specific restrictions or times that relate to parties in private homes. However the police can take action if you or your guests cause a disturbance and the council can take action if the noise from the party causes a nuisance.
A nuisance can occur at any time but is more likely to cause disturbance to others at night..
See our information on statutory nuisance for more details of what the council can do.
Last updated: Tuesday, 11 November 2014 1:18 pm