Sheffield residents left fuming about bonfire smoke

Unhappy residents in Lodge Moor who are unhappy with the constant number of bonfores being lit. From left Cynthia Dyson, Nancy Grayson, Dereck White and Cynthia Wilson
Unhappy residents in Lodge Moor who are unhappy with the constant number of bonfores being lit. From left Cynthia Dyson, Nancy Grayson, Dereck White and Cynthia Wilson
0
Have your say

Pensioners on a Sheffield housing estate are kicking up a stink about fumes from bonfires which are plaguing pensioners.

Members of Westminster Tenants’ and Residents’ Association at Lodge Moor say they are concerned about the number of fires by gardeners and builders, which have been happening ‘at any time of day or night’.

They are calling for a local by-law to control hours when items can be burned.

Nancy Grayson, who chairs the association, said: “There are a lot of old people around here with chest problems who have had to keep their windows closed in the hot weather to keep out fumes.

“We had one fire in the last week or two which seemed to be going constantly over five days in a row - nothing could be done about it.

“I thought there were rules saying you couldn’t have a bonfire until after 6pm but apparently that is not the case.

“The situation is really unfair and upsetting.”

Cynthia Wilson, secretary of Westminster TARA, added: “After being subject to the most appalling bonfires during the recent hot weather and tinder-dry conditions, to find there are no by-laws covering this is ludicrous.

“This estate has mostly elderly tenants and residents with chest complaints. The fire service can only intervene where a fire is out of control and causing damage.”

The TARA is campaigning for Sheffield Council to create rules to restrict when bonfires can take place - and members have also asked Hallam MP Nick Clegg for support.

Council’s position

Bonfires are controlled by general statutory nuisance legislation and builders are controlled still further if the material they are burning is waste.

Commercial or trade waste cannot be disposed of by burning except virgin timber, without the land having an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency.

The final control is dark smoke - it has been an offence since 1968 for dark smoke from a bonfire to be emitted from industrial or trade premises.

But councils can issue an ‘abatement notice’ if a bonfire is causing a nuisance. A bonfire must happen frequently to be considered.