Bonfires and smoke control

Please read the following information before reporting a problem.

​Please avoid bonfires and consider your neighbours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bonfire smoke and even BBQ smoke can have a harmful effect on people with breathing difficulties, respiratory illness and those suffering with coronavirus. Please avoid bonfires and help to protect everyone adhering to the government’s advice and staying at home. People staying inside their homes will be needing to keep their windows open to get some fresh air, so please be a considerate neighbour during this crisis.


There are no permitted times in the city for lighting bonfires There are many ways to dispose of waste and unwanted items without the need to light a bonfire. Each year in Gloucester, firefighters are called out several times a week to deal with unnecessary rubbish fires.

The information below explains the legislation that controls bonfires and links to other useful information The Environmental Protection Act 1990 enables local authorities to deal formally with domestic bonfires using statutory nuisance provisions of the Act. However, the legislation is difficult to enforce because it can only be applied to frequent lighting of bonfires at premises.

The lighting of a single bonfire cannot be controlled using this legislation.

Commercial bonfires are controlled by the Clean Air Act 1993. It's an offence to produce dark or black smoke from a bonfire at commercial premises.

There's no reason for any waste to be burnt outdoors on open fires in Gloucester because a comprehensive waste disposal service is provided city-wide.

  • Bonfires are not a safe way to dispose of rubbish
  • Neighbours do not have to get used to your unnecessary bonfires
  • Bonfires are not the best way to get rid of waste and other household rubbish
  • Bonfires do spoil peoples enjoyment of their gardens and homes

Smoke Control

Gloucester has had a small smoke control area​ since the 1960's. The area includes the Cathedral, the Gaol and the county council offices. Housing built before the area was designated is excluded from control, as it was expected that the area would be redeveloped. This has indeed taken place over the years, so that the only excluded housing today is in Priory Road, Mount Street and Pitt Street.

The smoke control order limits the types of fires that can be used in dwellings to fire places in buildings, or parts of buildings separately occupied, without gas supply.


Only authorised fuels, as declared by regulations under the Clean Air Act 1993, and kindling sticks and paper shall be used in the fire places.

The smoke control designated area is bounded by The Quay, Royal Oak Road, St. Oswald's Road, Priory Road, St. Mary's Street, Pitt Street, Hare Lane, Northgate Street, Southgate Street and Commercial Road.

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