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Bonfires

If you are planning to light a bonfire or if you want to complain about a neighbour causing a nuisance with smoke, we offer the following advice and guidance.

We investigate reports of smoke but will usually only act if bonfires are frequent.

For information about bonfire night celebrations in Lewes please see our Lewes Bonfire page.

You do not need permission to have a bonfire on your own land unless you are a council tenant.

A bonfire should not have an unreasonable effect on your neighbours' enjoyment of their homes or gardens.

Never burn household rubbish, take it to your local  household waste recycling site.

Before burning anything let your neighbours know and give them time to take in washing or close windows.

  • Avoid burning at weekends and on bank holidays when people want to enjoy their gardens
  • Only burn dry organic material like dry wood
  • Never burn rubber tyres, bonded woods or anything containing plastics, foam or paint
  • Never use old engine oil or petrol to light the fire
  • Never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder, put water on it if necessary
  • Never burn household rubbish, take it to your local household waste recycling site

Building contractors should never burn rubbish on site, as it is an offence to burn trade waste. Waste should be removed by a licensed contractor.

Bonfires are not permitted on the beaches between the Wish Tower and the pier in Eastbourne.

If you do have a bonfire on the beach it must be located well away from the groynes and between the high and low tide water mark.

Ensure your bonfire does not cause a nuisance through smoke or smell.

Once your bonfire has finished make sure the fire is out and that any large items are removed.

Bonfires are not allowed in any council-run parks and gardens.

Members of the public are not permitted to have bonfires on the downland or woodlands.

Find information about garden waste services in Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough.

If you believe someone has prepared or is burning a bonfire without permission, you can report it to us using our online form below.

Use our online form if you wish to report a bonfire or smoke nuisance in Lewes District Council.

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Use our online form if you wish to report a bonfire or smoke nuisance in Eastbourne Borough Council.

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