Council fumes over fire pits, barbecues and wood-burning stoves

Posted On 19 Apr 2021 at 4:27 pm

The council is urging people to think about others before lighting bonfires, barbecues and open fires or using fire pits or wood-burning stoves.

The plea came as people start meeting again, in chilly temperatures, as the coronavirus restrictions are relaxed – and with some using barbecues.

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We’re asking people using wood-burning stoves or lighting bonfires and fire pits to consider their neighbours and the most vulnerable members of your own household before striking a match.

“At a time when we’re now allowed to meet with friends and relatives in our gardens or back yards, more people are using open fires and fire pits to keep warm on chilly days.

“But we’re reminding users that they can be a nuisance to others and could have impacts on people’s health.

“With summer almost upon us, many of us will want to invite friends and family into our gardens and break out the barbecue.

“Having more time in our gardens and outdoor spaces, we may also want to light a bonfire to dispose of things like garden waste.

“Please show consideration to your neighbours and not create excess smoke and odour.

“It’s also much better to compost garden waste or take it to one of our recycling centres.

“When finished with your fire, put it out to avoid smouldering, carbon monoxide and smoke pollution.

“The city has a number of Smoke Control Areas (SCA) declared under the Clean Air Act, covering much of Hanover, Bevendean, Lewes Road and city centre areas.

“In these areas, residents can only burn approved, smokeless fuels. You may be committing an offence if you do not follow this guidance.

“If you are not in a Smoke Control Area, please try to use fuels that won’t create excessive smoke or odour that may cause a nuisance to neighbours.

“We’re also calling on people not to use elm tree logs for their fires and wood burners.

“Elm logs are perfect breeding ground for bark beetles that carry and spread elm disease which is devastating the city’s historic elm tree collection.

“While it’s been pleasing to see the number of covid-19 cases dropping in the city, coronavirus remains a risk to those with respiratory issues.

“Many still have concerns that the extra smoke generated by wood burners, log fires and bonfires may be making things worse for people who already have health problems.”

  1. Rostrum Reply


  2. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    For older persons, all of this diktat from the council is getting very confusing and smacking of 1984 (Orwell). Not that I do any of the activities listed above, but it would be great if they just shut up and resigned en masse, frankly. And who proposed all this? Councillors, officers, or whom?

    When I moved here very many years ago, I wasn’t living in a police state, but it seems that’s what we have now (without any police – just the council).

  3. Peter Challis Reply

    Always good to see an anonymous council spokesperson instead of a named councillor (shouldn’t this have been from ETS Chair Green Councillor Amy Heley?) commanding the electorate on how they should behave in the city.

  4. Billy Short Reply

    Now here we go, this is really interesting.

    If you have followed the Green/Momentum arguments for cycle lanes, then you’ll know one of their aims is about climate change, and they concentrate locally on car pollution. How sinful those drivers are! How dare those vans or visitors come into our city!

    As a van driver myself, trying to work for local residents, I of course see things differently.

    And of course pollution from cars is nothing compared to our local energy consumption, in each home, or indeed the smoke pollution caused by the many wood burning stoves of Hanover – a key Green electorate area.
    I write this as someone who lived in Hanover for thirty years, and who had the first secondary combustion, fuel-efficient wood burning stove.

    And here, they finally come out with the truth, namely that it’s all of us who are to blame, just by us living here, and not just the car drivers.
    We might also add, that we locals are not high polluters compared to many in the rest of the world – over which we have no control.

    But these inconvenient facts won’t stop these zealots thinking they are leading the way on the side of righteousness – whilst they close our roads for their fake ideological reasons and muck up our local economy and self harm the council’s own income.
    If we want to reduce car dependency in our city then where is the better publican transport? Where are the park and ride schemes.
    (And where are the councillors with common sense and with a realistic vision. ?)

    I so wish our councillors were able to listen, or were able to rationally think through what they are saying.
    The student/school gate view of things really needs to be challenged. The council have access to experts who will soon put in place the extremists who have taken charge.

    In this great city, this is the most inept administration we have seen for a generation.

  5. Richard Reply

    so no more barbecues or firepits!

  6. Chris Reply

    Several of my neighbours, who religiously sort out their recycling, compost their food waste and cycle also use wood burning stoves and have BBQs whenever they can. They also have bonfires to dispose of garden waste and cardboard because a) they don’t want to drive to a tip, and b) they can’t get a garden collection from the council as no new arrangements are being made. Add to that the somewhat erratic recycling and rubbish collections, together with the weed and chewing gum strewn pavements and people wonder why the place looks untidy. There are two of us in the middle who don’t have bonfires, BBQs or wood burning stoves but still get all the pollution that goes with them.

  7. Some Guy Reply

    I know clickbait and puns are the current standard for journalism, but this article is absolute balderdash. The comments are worse!
    The council have asked people to think before starting their fires, and already we have Orwell references and calls for resignation. It could hardly be a more timid milquetoast request, and here we are.
    This site, readership included, should buck its ideas up. The Argus is admittedly far worse (staffed and commented upon by a mixture of robots and the insane) but we can still strive to be better.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, is it really journalism to write fifty words ahead of a blog post quoted in its entirety and provide no link to the original source? I can see it was posted close to knocking-off time but still.

    • Chaz. Reply

      Sorry people don’t agree with you and you feel you are our saviour.
      But you are not, and that is life in a democracy.
      We will leave you with the Green News.

      • Some Guy Reply

        I think you and I might be talking at cross purposes. The Council haven’t actually done anything. Asking people to think before lighting fires – not even trying to tell them not to. This is a complete non-issue.
        Criticism about things the Council have done (or failed to do) is exactly what I like to see, but this isn’t it. More to the point, most of this article is just copied from the source without additional information or even opinion. It’s basically just plagiarism.

    • Unknown Reply

      Why not read up about the Greens’ ritual tree slaughter in Madeira Drive? In the Torygraf today. Top marks to BHCC!

    • Hendra Reply

      Try the Telegraph. Great story in there today about some Green council lopping down protected trees to make way for a cycle path!

      • Some Guy Reply

        Now we’re talking!

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