Smoke and Odour

Parts of Grantham and Stamford are smoke control areas.

What is a smoke control area?

A smoke control area is an area where people and businesses must not:

  • emit a substantial amount of smoke from a chimney.

  • buy or sell unauthorised fuel for use in a smoke control area unless it's used in an 'exempt' appliance (appliances which are approved for use in smoke control areas)

For more information on the rules in smoke control areas, please visit Smoke Control Areas - do you know the rules? A practical guide (

Look at our smoke control area maps by clicking on the button below. 

Smoke control area maps

It is also an offence to acquire "unauthorised fuel" for use within a smoke control area unless it is for use in an "exempt appliance." See further information about authorised fuels on the Defra website

Reporting a Smoke Nuisance

Important: Any smoke that impedes visibility on a highway needs to be reported to the Police. If a bonfire is out of control or built in a dangerous location, contact the Fire Service immediately.

What you can do

If possible, please contact the person responsible for the smoke/odour issue and discuss it with them. This is often the best way to resolve the problem.

What do we mean by the 'person responsible'?

The person responsible is the person who is causing the smoke/odour, or the owner/occupier of the residential or business premises where the smoke/odour is coming from.

If the property where the issue is coming from is rented, we recommend you contact the landlord or housing association to report the problem and request they take action.

If you are having difficulty approaching the person responsible, you could write to them. A letter template with some suggested wording can be found under useful links tab.

It can help to keep a record of the issue for your own reference. This will also act as evidence if the noise becomes an ongoing problem which you need us to investigate. We recommend you use our nuisance diary sheets for this, to help you capture the right information.

A further option may be to take your own legal action for statutory nuisance under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This allows a Magistrates' Court to act on a complaint made by any person on the grounds that they are aggrieved by the existence of a statutory nuisance.

What we can do

We can investigate this problem if:

  • It cannot be resolved by contacting the person responsible.

  • It is causing a statutory nuisance. This means it unreasonably and significantly interferes with the use or enjoyment of your home or other premises. You must experience it regularly or for an extended period of time. We do not investigate one-off incidents as these are unlikely to be considered a statutory noise nuisance.

You will need:

  • Your address and contact details

  • The address of the source of the noise

If your complaint relates to a domestic premises, contact Neighbourhood Team through our online form

If your complaint relates to an SKDC council property, contact Housing

If your complaint relates to a commercial premises, contact Environmental Protection through our online form

Garden Bonfires

The law says you can light an occasional bonfire to dispose of dry waste from your own garden, as long as it does not cause a nuisance.

Having a bonfire every day or a large bonfire may cause a nuisance.

Bonfire dos and don'ts 

If you decide to light a bonfire:

  • Do not leave the fire unattended.

  • Do not burn damp or freshly cut garden waste, as this produces thick smoke.

  • Do not light a bonfire when your neighbours have windows open, washing out or are spending time in their garden.

  • Do not use old engine oil, methylated spirits, or petrol to light the fire or encourage it.

  • Do not burn any man-made materials, such as plastics or rubber, as this may create heavy, toxic smoke.

  • Don't burn trade or building waste - businesses are responsible for getting rid of their waste safely and legally, you can see more information on the GOV.UK website

  • Do leave the bonfire until weather conditions are right - for example, when the wind is blowing away from neighbouring properties.

  • Do tell your neighbours before you light a bonfire.

  • Do choose the site of your bonfire carefully - away from trees, fences, and nearby homes.

  • Do burn in small quantities, quickly, to reduce the amount of smoke.

Alternatives to Bonfires

Wood Burning Stoves and Open Fires

Parts of Grantham and Stamford has designated smoke control areas. If you have an open fire or log burning stove, you must make sure you are using appropriate fuel, to reduce pollution and prevent a nuisance to neighbours. 

If you are using firewood, it needs to be less than 20% moisture. Green or freshly felled wood is not suitable to burn, neither is any wood that has been painted or preserved. 

Further information about suitable wood can be found on the Defra air quality website.

If you are planning to install a wood burning stove in your home, you need to make sure that the work complies with building regulations. Please contact Building Control before starting work.

When any fixed combustion appliance, including gas fires and wood-burning stoves, is installed, or replaced it is compulsory to have carbon monoxide alarms installed. These are mandatory in both privately rented properties and social housing and should be installed in any room with a fixed combustion appliance.

Smoke from a Commercial Premises

If the smoke originates from a commercial premise and is dark smoke it can be an offence and action may be taken under the Clean Air Act 1993 to prevent it.

To report a smoke issue, contact Environmental Health Services (hyperlink to be included)

You will need:

  • Your address and contact details

  • The address of the commercial premises

Odours and unpleasant smells

A statutory odour nuisance is defined in the Environmental Protection Act as 'any smell arising on industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance'. Smells from a domestic premises such as cooking or smoking odours, are not in themselves covered by the Act. The legislation does not enable us to investigate smells from domestic premises.

The types of problems that we are able to deal with are restricted to the following:

  • Fumes from boilers

  • Smoke from bonfires or chimneys

  • Accumulations of waste (dog faeces, food items)

  • Odour arising from the manner in which animals are kept.

  • Filthy premises

  • Odour from industrial, trade or business premises

Was this page useful?

A-Z of Services

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z