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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans for our places and open spaces

Bonfires and Industrial Pollution

env health


There is no outright ban on having bonfires, however if smoke from the bonfire is found to be causing a statutory nuisance to neighbours we are obliged to serve an abatement notice on the person responsible for the nuisance.

Failure to comply with the abatement notice can lead to legal action.

The legislation is designed to deal primarily with serious incidents or recurring  incidents which affect a persons enjoyment of their property.

We advise you to consider alternative methods of disposal such as composting garden waste, participating in green waste recycling collections, or you can also dispose of the material at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

If you experience a problem with smoke from bonfires please contact us.

Emissions from certain industrial processes are controlled with an Environmental Permit scheme.

The scheme is administered by:

The Environment Agency - For industries where there is a high potential for pollution of air, water and land.

Stockton Council's Environmental Health team - For smaller, less polluting industries.

The Environmental Permit scheme imposes strict conditions on the operators of industrial processes in relation to monitoring of emissions and process controls.  Information about individual permitted processes (including service stations) is available to view via the Public Register.

The Environmental Health team is responsible for controlling the following activities:

  • Dust, fume and odour nuisance from industrial premises.
  • Dark Smoke emissions from chimneys serving combustion plant.
  • Dark Smoke emissions from open burning on commercial premises.
  • Prior approval of chimneys on large combustion plants. Operators of these plants are required to provide calculations to justify the chimney height serving the plant, we will audit these calculations.

The Environmental Health team can advise on any concerns that you may have about industrial pollution.

Contact the Environmental Health team to discuss concerns regarding industrial pollution.


Additional Resources

Environmental Health Applications:


Contaminated Land

We enforce action for dealing with contaminated land within the Borough.

The Environment Agency is responsible for dealing with badly contaminated sites known as special sites.

We have compiled an historic land use register for the Borough, based on previous industrial use, which dates back to 1850.

Only one site has been determined as 'contaminated' under the legislation. This site has been cleaned up and is now safe. We will keep a register of any site which has been determined to be contaminated land.  The register contains details of all remediation notices and remediation statements.

We have produced and published a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy which sets out a programme of how we will deal with contaminated land.


Smoke Control Areas

Smoke Control Areas help to control emissions from domestic chimneys caused by the burning of coal and wood. 


Properties affected by Smoke Control Areas

Most properties within the Borough are within a Smoke Control Area.The following villages and rural areas are not covered by the smoke control programme: 

  • Aislaby
  • Stillington
  • Longnewton
  • Carlton
  • Thorpe Thewles
  • Redmarshall
  • Elton
  • urtherUrlay Nook
  • Kirklevington
  • Grindon
  • Whinney Hill
  • Wynyard
  • Ingleby Barwick (not Lowfields Village)
  • Hilton


Smokeless Fuel

Only authorised smokeless fuels are allowed to be used within a Smoke Control Area. Some fireplaces are exempt from Smoke Control legislation and therefore can burn some types of coal and wood. 

  • Visit the GOV.UK website for information and rules about smokeless fuels.


Garden bonfires in smoke control areas

Smoke control legislation does not apply to garden bonfires but we do try to discourage people from having garden bonfires which can cause serious nuisance to neighbouring properties.

  • Visit the GOV.UK website for information and rules about garden bonfires.