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Neighbour Guide: Wood Burning Stoves and Chimineas

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 24 Jan 2024 | comments*Discuss
Wood Smoke Burning Neighbour Wood

Many people in the UK have wood-burning stoves. Some houses need these for heat, whilst others use them as a decorative room feature. However the problem with wood burning stoves and chimineas is that they give off smoke as they burn.

UK Smoke Control Areas

Under the Clear Air Act of 1993 (consolidating the 1956 and 1968 Acts designed to deal with smog), local authorities can designate some areas of their region to be a 'smoke control area'. In these areas, it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney, a furnace or any fixed boiler. It is also an offence to acquire 'unauthorised fuel' for use in a 'smoke control area'.

Are there any laws about what is burnt in a chimnea? Our neighbour seems to burn any wood that comes to hand which at times causes copious amounts of smoke, preventing my family enjoying our garden and forcing us to close our windows.

The maximum punishment for each offence is a £1000 fine. Your Local Authority will be able to advise of any 'smoke control areas' in your local region. You can find numbers to contact your local authority.

Some exempt fuels and exempt appliances can be still used in these areas. These have passed tests to ensure that they burn without producing smoke. A list of exempt fuels/appliances can be obtained here.

What About Other Relevant Legal Requirements?

There are legal requirements about the design specification and installation of wood burning appliances. This is to ensure that these are correctly ventilated to allow fuel to burn cleanly, and ensure that appliances do not release dangerous carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide into people's homes.

Manufacturers and installers of these appliances will be aware of relevant legal requirements and they will be responsible for compliance with these. However the current legal requirements for the UK can be found in Buildings Regulations Document J, Table 1.

Smoke and 'Nuisance'

Clearly, smoke blowing into your garden or house is "a nuisance", and can affect your enjoyment of your property, especially if this prevents you sitting in your garden, or opening windows. However this may also be a legal 'nuisance'.

Legally, the term nuisance refers to a legal tort, or civil wrong. It is used to describe:

  • a) An activity that is harmful or annoying for others (e.g. a smoking chimney)
  • b) The harm caused by the activity above (e.g. objectionable odour)
  • c) The legal liability that arises from the combination of (a) and (b)

You have a right to quiet enjoyment of your property. This is the same right that stops your landlord carrying out weekly inspections of their property. A legal nuisance is an act that interferes with this right (such as forcing you to close your windows or preventing you sitting in the garden). This type of nuisance is often referred to as a private nuisance.

The case of Bamford v Turnley defined private nuisance as:

"any continuous activity or state of affairs causing a substantial and unreasonable interference with a claimant's land or his use and enjoyment of that land".

I live in a UK city which has seen a great increase in the use of not only wood burning stoves but also the use of smokeless fuel. Being surrounded by 3 houses in a built up area that regularly pump out smoke and fumes, it is not a comfortable or healthy environment.

As far as I can see none of these activities tick the environmental box or consider the health implications. Do we have a legitimate cause for action?

Whether any activity constitutes a nuisance will depend on how it affects you, and the reasonableness of the activity. This will include considerations such as the time of day the activity is carried out (for example DIY is a reasonable activity, but not if it involves hammering after midnight every night).

The court will also consider the area that you live in. For example a built up area can be expected to be noisier than a rural area. The case of Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc stated that if a defendant was using their land unreasonably and causing a nuisance, they will still be liable, even if they used reasonable care to avoid doing so. The test is really if the action was unreasonable, and if the resulting nuisance was reasonably foreseeable.

Long Term Nuisance Can Become Legal

It is a defence to a nuisance claim that if a private nuisance has continued for 20 years, it becomes legal. If you have been aware of a continuous nuisance caused by your neighbour for over 20 years, you will not therefore have a claim in nuisance.

However if you moved into your Property after your neighbour was already burning wood, and so committing the nuisance, this will not be a defence according to the courts. (The 1879 case of Sturges v Bridgman states that there is no defence that the Claimant came to the nuisance).

If a court finds that a neighbour has committed a private nuisance, they can:

  1. make an award for damages (money) to be paid to you
  2. make an injunction to prevent an act being carried out

Often a private nuisance will also be an environmental nuisance (for example light pollution). You can therefore ask your Local Environmental Health Officer to attend your property and report on the conditions. This will be useful evidence in your case.

Options to Prevent a Nuisance

We have a neighbour who has a wood burning stove that frequently floods our house with fumes. Having spoken to the Local Environmental officer we are assured that the appliance conforms to the legal requirements and therefore our only redress is a civil case. As we do not have the funds to do this can you suggest an alternative?

Depending on the nuisance being caused, you may have several options to take private action. These may include:

  • taking action for statutory nuisance in the Magistrates Court
  • taking civil action to get an injunction
  • mediation

You may also apply to the Magistrates Court if, though a nuisance has currently stopped, it is likely to reoccur on the same premises.

Of course the easiest and cheapest way to address a nuisance is to speak to your neighbours. Do they realise that the smoke from their fire is blowing into your house or preventing you using your garden? Particularly in the case of outdoor fires, it may be that these could be moved to a different side of their property to prevent this problem.

Taking Your Case to Court

If you wish to take your case to court, you can get free legal advice on this from your local Citizens Advice Bureau (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm). Unfortunately free legal advice is not available through the Legal Aid scheme for this type of legal proceeding. Here are a few keys points to consider:

  • Notice of court action - You will need to provide notice of your intention to take court action (under part 7, section 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990) at least 3 days before doing so for any noise nuisance, and at least 21 days before for any other type of nuisance.
  • Fee - There is a fee for making a complaint to the Magistrates Court (approximately £24, but you can check this with your local Magistrates Court) www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/HMCSCourtFinder
  • Serve a notice on your neighbour - You will need to serve notice on the offending neighbour. You should keep a record of doing this, so many people chose to send a recorded delivery letter. Service could also be affected by a hand-delivered letter, but you would have no record to prove that this was delivered.
  • Represent yourself - You can conduct your case yourself, without legal representation if you wish to do so.
  • Be prepared -Be aware that the defendant may make counter-accusations and also call witnesses.
  • Costs - If you are successful, you may recover some or all of your costs from the other party. However if you are unsuccessful, you may be required to pay some or all of their costs.
  • Breaches of injunction - If an injunction is granted, you will need to go back to court if this is breached to enforce the order.

What evidence will you need to take your case to court?

There are no rules about what evidence you will need in court; you simply need enough evidence to prove your case. Try to make sure that for every point you make, you can back up what you are saying with evidence; it is up to you prove your case on the balance of probabilities. Any evidence you wish to rely on must however be relevant, and go to proving / disproving an element of nuisance (not simply showing that your neighbour is annoying in some other manner).

Here are a few different types of evidence you may want to obtain to support your case:

1) Photographic evidence - take pictures of the smoke blowing into your house / garden. Is soot covering your personal belongings? Take pictures of this.

2) Damaged items - if sooty smoke / ash is blowing into your house / garden, put items (e.g. teddy bears) in a plastic bag as evidence that soot is damaging your property.

3) Witness statements - as well as you giving evidence, you could ask other neighbours / friends to visit your Property and witness the problem themselves. Your witnesses must have witnessed the problem themselves however; they cannot simply give evidence that you told them there was a problem, as this is classed as 'hearsay' by the courts and won't be allowed.

4) Reports by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) - if an EHO has visited your Property you may rely on their report or test readings. However if the report indicates a nuisance to the public at large, often the EHO will take on the case against the offending party themselves.

Note that any evidence that you wish to rely on will have to be disclosed to the other party if you take your case to court. You will therefore have to provide your neighbour with copy statements and photographs.

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Just over one year ago our neighbour installed a wood burner in their lounge with a stainless steel external flue. They have access to 'free' wood which they burn regularly even in the Spring and early Summer. Now Winter it burns every day and each time we have plumes of visible smoke sometimes dark grey in colour. Our houses are detached but on a hill (our house being higher). They are not perpendicular so the average distance is 1.8m. This together with the height difference and design of their roof means the smoke always ends up trapped in our garden and side of our house. The top of the flue is almost in-line with top of our upstairs window. We cannot open our windows and we have to close all the roof vents. The consequence of this is we have a dehumidifier running all the time to remove condensation. My wife has now developed breathing issues and has had several asthma attacks. Each time the trigger is just a brief trip outside our back door to let our dogs out. We have lived here for nearly 23 years, our neighbours 8-10 years. We've never had a single complaint and have enjoyed our home until this. Unfortunately, when the subject was brought up with our neighbour things turned nasty. They have done everything 'legally' apparently and would we deny their children a warm home. No attempt to burn dry wood or smokeless fuels. No attempt to resign the flue. I worry about my wife's health, she is very angry about the situation and I feel at a loss of how to help. We don't want to move as why should we but that may be the only alternative if my wife does not improve. I am concerned about making complaints official (Building Control, Environmental Health) as this may come to nothing and have a detrimental effect should we want to sell our house. I would love to hear from anyone with success regarding this.
smokeygarden12 - 24-Jan-24 @ 4:33 PM
Nothing will change until there are clear simple laws banning burning and supporting the right to breathe clean air. So long as it is not against any law then it will continue. What amazes me is how the government managed to ban cigarette smoking in public places - yet cannot see the damage done by other sources of smoke affecting people’s homes.
Jonathan - 6-Dec-23 @ 6:55 AM
My neighbours have built a home made food smoker in their back yard and now, every day, they’re flinging cheap pine into it. The stench means that I can’t open my windows, sit in my back yard or dry washing on my line. I live in a smoke control area and this is contrary to all rules and legislation. I have contacted my local council and am awaiting their response. My neighbours have been told in no uncertain terms that what they’re doing is illegal but they claim to not speak English. I’ll update here when I find out what happens next. I’m beyond sick of these neighbours, for years they’ve been constantly drilling andhammering on the party wall, and now they’ve decided to flood my property with disgusting smoke. This is the final straw.
Pedro - 3-May-23 @ 7:11 PM
Im just ave lung cancer surgery and i sufer very bad for ciminiere for my new neibord just mouve in 13 month as go, since this poples mouve in im in hell whid them they burning very cheap stinchin wood very fick smok, i complain to the invaitementol poples and send me forma to take records for 2 mounth beffore the can do some thing ,on the mane time maeby im goin to dead for complicacion breving this crap for my neibourds
Pistoff - 1-Mar-23 @ 10:16 PM
They should be banned immediately. Why should I be forced to sit inside my house breathing in someone else's pollution, smells and smoke. Every day my eyes, nose and throat burn due to this selfish activity and inevitable health implications. I have to run air filters on full throughout the house which is still not enough and can never put my own heating on because it brings in more smoke from outside and have to block external vents and can never open windows. Can never put washing out as they will stink as much as the neighbour does. People who find this amusing are sickos. Councils just tell you to keep a diary and write them a polite letter asking if they can cut it down a little for a week or two then it all starts right back up again.
Jim - 6-Dec-22 @ 7:06 PM
I'm an asthmatic Childminder whose neighbour burns any old crap on his woodburner. It fills our house and garden. How on earth can I keep myself and the children free from his fumes. We've lived here happily for 14 years until he moved in and had a woodburner installed. He then moved it himself closer to our windows. He is not a registered installer is he even allowed to do this?. So fed up with the fumes!
Fuming is the word! - 13-Nov-22 @ 3:08 PM
My neighbour is setting up a wood burning chimney 30 ft from my back door.I suffer from bronchial hyperactivity following inhalation of chicken dust 6 years ago.Dust,fumes,vapours,perfumes etc cause me pain which last for a week at each exposure.I'm dreading him lighting this up and there seems to be no statutory redress.I believe I may have to move house after 37years. What a shocking situation where even the right to breathe clean air is not enshrined in law.
Jimbo - 25-Oct-22 @ 2:35 PM
The comments by Hudson are completely false and evidence of a very wicked heart and are indefensible! You then misuse the corrupt council whitewashing the facts to excuse yourself. How utterly selfish of you and defamatory to call anyone wanting to breathe clean air- not toxic coal and wood burning carried on with impunity by psychopath neighbors.
RightToCleanAir - 11-Oct-22 @ 10:15 PM
Sir I am one of the users of wood burning appliances and I am now getting quite fed with what other people on here have said ,answer Me this We have burnt wood and coal in our Rayburn for the last 40 years and with out complaint I might add and again you post seems to be a little one sided , I have contacted the council and they same I am doing every thing right . let Me explain and don't have an answer for this in 1987 when our house was re-roofed at that time the local planning officer came to next door as an extenstion was being built ,at that time there was a red brick extension on the top of our chimney at the rear of the house and We were ordered to have the red brick part demolished any since they We have not had any complaints not until 2020 that is ,just before this an elderly neighbour had died and had lived in her house for over 25 years without any complaints , A new person bought the house and all was fine until April 2021 when He came around and complained about our chimney ,So I got onto our coal supplier and He started suppling us with coal that is for for use in Smoke controled areas at that time I also bought a wood Moisture meter and all the wood I burn is below the recomened 20% even though I don't need to as I cut and season my fire wood my self . But what you don't say as of most of the post I have read on here is the fact that if you are not in a smoke controled area which We are not and as this is a Grade 2 listed building with lime motar not cement between the joints it is with regret that I am not allowed to have any other heating and from what I have read that the people on here are harrasing their neighbours and yes I know you problems will 100% worse this winter But I am sorry it seems you have to grin and bear it . As this a free country and you have no rights to dictate as to what your neighbours do on their own Property , you say you could always move but what happens if that in turn goes the wrong way and in fact you end up in a worse situation , The main problem today as I see it is the fact that people like to pri into other peoples business no wonder your neighbours are against you .I have one who won't even talk about it and as far as I can see and the local council say I have done all that I can and what they have said that they won't stop Me burning wood or coal but they will go to My neighbours house and look at their house to see what is letting in the smoke and fumes , I suspect that a vent has been put inwhen the last owner was living their which is causing the trouble .Going back back to Me I too have Asthma and have been told by My Doctor that I am not allowed any other type heating as the worst thing for Astmatics is not smoke or fume from wood or coal butDry air what I mean is electric fire and the Central heating ,I was told that years ago . What they mean by dry heat is as I was told put a saucer of water on top of a heater and then see it evaporate .
Hudson - 11-Oct-22 @ 2:30 AM
Despite having double glazing and having all the windows closed the smell from my neighbour’s wood fire permeates my house.Their chimney is three feet from my bedroom and the prevailing winds blow the fumes in my direction, not theirs.Why are the ‘victims’ always vilified? Why do they have to put up with the inconvenience They are so proud of their ‘green credentials’ yet enjoy the minimalist approach to gardening, no trees or shrubs to help absorb the pollution, just trendy grey fencing and a few pots and would make my life a misery if I brought the smoke nuisance to their attention let alone complained.
Favourite Granny - 8-Oct-22 @ 5:59 PM
Hi to everyone, nice to have found this site but i am unable to find a answer to my problem,I have a woodburning multifuel stove fitted when we moved 7 years ago we use correct logs for burning but now use smokless coal and it is used as a backup to our oil heating ( dont get upset ) we live in a rural area with 20 houses ex local authority fields all around. question our neighbour gets his wood from a local double glazing company old wood frames painted cuts them up and burns them, he has his chimney swept once a year but what is he burning leaded paint it spews out black smoke everytime it is used, i am unable to find any info could any one please give guidance. and no i have not asked him about this yet as i need more information. thankyou
maisiecat - 7-Oct-22 @ 6:06 PM
The accumulation of toxic air pollution through coal and wood burning etc; in addition to ammonia pollution from muck slurry spreading i e excrement from human and animal waste; is the major cause of lethal greenhouse gases. The consequences are being felt globally with all the extreme weather conditions. These wilful and inexcusable actions demonstrate a complete and utter disregard for God's righteous laws and thus deliberately and selfishly working injury to thy neighbor and poisoning the natural environment Soon God will finally step in and remove all wicked society.
RightToCleanAir - 5-Sep-22 @ 9:54 PM
This wood burning issue is only going to get worse through the fuel crisis as when you put your central heating in even in normal cold conditions you are usually a bit mindful as too how long it's been on for and how much its costing. Now the log burner menaces won't care how long they burn for as it doesn't cost as much to run or even in some cases costs nothing- I saw a lady with a shopping trolley in my local park gathering wood for her fire a few weeks ago. So if you notice any trees or garden fences in your area suddenly go missing then you know why because they will be shovelling it in like they are running a steam train and the rest of us paying more tax on their fuel will have to suffer the physical and mental pain that this causes and won't be able to anything about it! Completely dreading winter, as if the summer wasn't bad enough- they even light firepits when there is a heatwave!!! We are doomed!
Just want to breathe - 24-Aug-22 @ 4:04 PM
The advice on this page about wood-burning is a complete waste of time. I am surrounded by neighbours with wood burners and one even has an old-fashioned oil burner set up. Environmental health are not interested in the slightest and nobody cares that I might be breathing in particulates any time I'm daring enough to go into my own back garden which I have made beautiful so that I and my family can enjoy it. People don't care and the government don't care. My conclusion is that their behaviour is based on ignorance despite the fact that NO there is copious evidence that shows the harm done by wood burners to say nothing of oil boilers and traffic but we just carry on in the same old way this might all the reported deaths and suffering caused by avoidable pollution. People think it's a green alternative. It's not. Even the latest DEFRA approved ones send out dangerous particulates. Just because you can't see smoke doesn't mean it'snot toxic and if Environmental Health can't see smoke they will do nothing. The laws are outdated and I believe the manufacturer have deliberately designed woodstove to by pass the visible smoke rules.
Cleanlungs, please - 6-Apr-22 @ 9:15 AM
Update.....the neanderthal and auntie phlegm have installed a log burner onto the party wall.No notice to me and now they sit indoors dragging his knuckles across his cheap laminate ...must make fire must make fire. I don't even know how to evidence thisI mean if I were to go to court how do I evidence a smellare there smoke detectors for sale somewhere.
QueenSquirrel - 29-Aug-21 @ 12:27 AM
People repeatedly ask on this site. "How do we get the government and local authorities to do something about the crazy amount of woodsmoke poisoning our communities? " Here's how..... Cop26 Glasgow 31st October. I'll be there with a huge placard "Ban all woodburners and chimeneas in residential areas" Maybe meet some of you there, those of you inclined to get off their behind. If you do turn up , maybe your placard could state "defra approved burners kill. There is no safe amount of smoke you can inhale."
Baffleditsallowed - 17-Aug-21 @ 5:57 PM
I have a neanderthal fire raging hormonal lunatic next door who drags his knuckles across his garden every evening to light his fire "must make fire must make fire" I imagine he is muttering to himself. Meanwhile his missus, I call her Auntie Phlegm, who smokes like a chimney throws lit cigarettes into my garden and has threatened to kill me, sits as close to the fire pit as possible to inhale a few more particulates. Meanwhile I sit in my home, windows closed trying to ignore it. Darwin do your thing.
Queen Squirrel - 5-Jul-21 @ 10:52 PM
I have had issues with my neighbours and their log burner since the end of 2015. It is in a single storey extension at the rear of the house and beneath dormers which are on the rear and side of their house. I have had the local authority out and their response was that it was all legal and that unfortunately the issue is my sensitivity to the emissions! I have asthma and am now on three inhalers (1 high dose steroid), some tablets and on occasions courses of steroid tablets and have been taken to hospital 4 times in an ambulance. I am terrified to open my back door to let my pets into the garden, the blue haze is visible all around the security light on the back of my house and although I cover my face I always end up coughing. I have had to block the vent in my kitchen (as advised by the environmental health officer) and am totally at my wits end. I think the only option I have now is to move which after 33 years here, I do not want to do. The saddest thing is these people told me last summer that they weren’t going to use it any more as they hear how it affects me and they have central heating- obviously this was so I would agree to have the fence between us repaired as once that was done, they went back to using it. Also, they have encouraged their other neighbours to have one fitted too! I’m at my wits end and very worried about my deteriorating health
Fezzer - 1-Apr-21 @ 12:15 PM
I’ve been subjected to wood fired smoke particulates(PM2.5)for the last four years every week, all year round. I have now ( and very worryingly) developed a ‘smokers cough’ which is set off at the slightest whiff of smoke.I have lived on our organic farm for many years, I am highly sensitive to smokeand having been brought up in the countryside am only used to fresh air.Four years ago my neighbour’s daughter-in-law moved to the240 acre farm opposite me and set up a glamping business. She chose to site the huts in one of their fields directly opposite our home - the field closest to our home. She placed two huts on the opposite side of the hedge with just a narrow, grassy bridleway dividing us from the huts. Each hut has an internal wood burning stove, a fire pit and worst of all, wood fired hot tubs that billow out blue/ grey smoke for hours on end.All this smoke has caused massive air pollution to what has always been unpolluted, clean fresh country air, ill health, lack of sleep, stress and the inability to live in our home as we have always enjoyed it, including our garden. This smoke has made me so ill, it delayed my cancer treatment for a month and held up my recovery. All authorities seem to be complicit that there is no smoke nuisance. North Dorset Environment Health have never visited our home or premises, and despite submitting smoke diaries at their insistence at a time when I had just come home from hospital after an operation, the case was swiftly closed. We found Environment Health obstructive. We have been bullied by the authorities including our North DorsetMPin an attempt to silence us. He told us that we should shut our windows to make it “hermetically sealed”. Only one town councillor managed to get one of the huts - the one right against our house to be moved a few hundred yards down the field but it is still far too close. Every room of our house is affected by this vile pollution making me cough so much the blood vessels in my eyes have burst three times in the last year of the site operating( my eyes take three weeks at a time to clear of blood). It really is an appalling situation. My surgeon and GP have written supporting letters but my MP angrily threw them back at me telling me they wouldn’t stand up in court! ( we hadn’t gone to him to suggest court action, only to seek a solution to this ongoing health hazard.) I later discovered he is ambassador for North Dorset’s Breast Cancer Now.He appeared to become rude and bullying, he had previously visited the neighbour to present her with an EU grant for £26,000 with an accompanying photo for the local press. When we continued to complain about the smoke we received visits from the local police we believe as an action to frighten us into silence. My husband was warned not to write to the press and to stop writing letters to the council.Our newly electedConservative ward councillor famously wrote to me saying “ accept the glamping for the sake
The girl with persis - 27-Mar-21 @ 1:32 AM
After nearly 25 years in the role of industry expert with regard to compliance, shoddy workmanship and poor air quality I must point out that the issues surrounding smoke pollution/nuisance from open fires and/or wood stoves is both complex whilst a legal minefield. In the past 12 months I have investigated in excess of 42 consumer complaints surrounding the effects of smoke produced from an array of combustion appliances ranging from wood fired Pizza ovens to domestic wood stoves all of which were found to be causing smoke nuisances, however, through a process of elimination, after thorough investigation and inspection found the following to be either singularly or as a combination the causation of such nuisances; a) User ignorance, b) Dangerous installation methods and procedures, c) Poor burning techniques, d) Ridiculous methods of storing fuel, e) Poor quality temperature measuring products, f) Incorrect, shoddy and dangerous chimney system design, g) Incompetent appliance installation, h) Non-compliant and dangerous work to a Party-Wall, i) Incorrect appliance operation, j) Non-mandatory installation of restrictive chimney cowls, k) Misunderstanding/ignorance of combustion air requirements, l) Reliance on a guidance document as a substitute for technically competent knowledge, m) Unnecessary offsets incorporated into new chimney system design, n) Sectional clay liners installed upside down, o) Lined chimneys left uninsulated, p) Topography and Atmospheric weather conditions ignored, q) Incorrect chimney/flue termination, r) Incompetent interpretation of fire risk, s) Non-Compliance with the Party Wall Act, t) Incorrect and incompetent methods of appliance 'firing up' and 'refuelling' One post suggests; 'I find it difficult to believe that many people use their wood burners in spring/summer/early autumn' the answer is quite simple, if such appliances are providing domestic hot water and/or central heating they will of course be used 24 hours a day, the same post provider then suggests; 'A lot of people find the smell of wood smoke pleasant - and breathing in a small amount of it is not going to send you to an early grave' Anyone suffering from a respiratory health issue such as asthma or pulmonary heart disease will find the smallest level say 30ppm over a lengthy period of time sufficient enough to trigger a worrying response, whilst of course you may be safe from such ingress whilst driving past a lighted bonfire in your car at 50mph the same cannot be said when experiencing the nauseating, acrid smell of an open fire producing a blue haze of particulates that set off a coughing attack I suffered personally when visiting a grade 1 listed building serving the public, this is a continuing problem that few understand the science of. Carbon-Dioxide and Nitrous-Oxide whilst these are unlikely to kill the operator/end user they are extremely dangerous by products experienced when burning natural gas, however, there appears to be
Professional Expert - 23-Mar-21 @ 10:25 AM
I live in the borrow of Hammerthmith and Fulham a neighbour has a Barbecue Smokerwhich dehydrates meats, they also burn other things in it such as plastics, i have had 2 asthmatic attacks since the beginning of the Covid lockdown, I was put on medication to reduce the inflammation in my lungs because of the smoke and not Covid, now I have loss of sensation and pins and needles in my arms when I sleep and my general health has been spiralling down because of it .Hammerthmith and Fulham council refused to make them stop and even asked me to stop bothering them with the issue. Laws need to change and councils need to be restructured from the top down.
Nina vig - 23-Mar-21 @ 3:15 AM
How can the government host a World pollution conference when they are sitting on a time bomb of serious health threatening pollution. Every town and city in the UK even in so called "Clean air Zones", now suffer from levels of smoke and serious pollution from trendy wood burning stoves, not seen for 100 years. We are quickly slipping back to the Smog era, with thousands of Wood burning stoves being installed every year. When can we expect fresh air, free from pollutants for our children to breath? The new limits on what can be burned is a fob off and NOT dealing with the problem. All smoke is bad, and unfortunately it hangs in the air no matter what you burn or how you burn it. I say to the government you will eventually be forced to ban it so why not act NOW?? People no longer accept cigarette smoke but can be subjected to high levels of pollution from 100s of their neighbours using wood burning stoves.
MikeB - 1-Mar-21 @ 1:21 PM
In reply to Mski. By your whitewashing the seriousness and reality of wood burning andthe right to clean air which is a basic human right; demonstrates very clearly your very wicked and false argument. Coal and wood burning is a revolting stench in itself in addition to the toxic chemicals which incl carcinogens. I have no quality of life because of it and cant even open my vents everywhere I move to causing damo because of it. It is 365 days a year and ant level is too much.You obviously have no conscience and love of neighbour and God and remain fully accountable.
t - 27-Feb-21 @ 8:49 PM
The problem isn't the number of log burners. The problem is the number of people currently inhabiting this planet.
sugar83 - 20-Feb-21 @ 4:22 PM
There is WAY too much hysteria being shown here. The figure that is being bandied about that 38% of pollution is caused by woodburners is NOT a scientific consensus. It is based on ONE study which has obvious flaws. The major flaw in the study is that the 38% figure includes all manner of home wood burning - including that of bonfires and barbecues. This is causing a lot of people to believe their neighbours woodburner is killing them - the FACT is, especially in a city, it is far more likely the traffic pollution is doing a lot more damage. Energy would be better spent campainging to improve public trasnport and reduce traffic. I am surprised peple are unable to use their gardens due to woodsmoke - I find it difficult to beleve that many people use their woodburners in spring/summer/erlu autumn. A lot of people find the smell of woodmsoke pleasant - and breathing in a small amount of it is not going to send you to an early grave. look at all the countries where woodburning is far more common and - Canada, Nordic countries for example - now look at their rates of respiratory issues and air polllution, are they worse? NO. Stop believing everything you read about science in the media - it generally presents a bad reflection of reality. The actual study being used to incite this hysteria is NOT a consensus and not without flaws.
Mski - 20-Feb-21 @ 11:12 AM
Hi What about towns in Northern Ireland that are not included in smoke control zones? What rights do the residents of these towns have to protect themselves from smoke pollution from chimneys. Please reply based on the following scenarios: Burning coal Wood burner smoke Using unauthorized fuels (such as treated wood) If you suspect a breach between your neighbours chimney wall and your own wall (causing smoke to seep in from their wall to yours) It seems that residents in areas not included in smoke control areas have no enforcable rights in these regards whether they contact environmental health, a solicitor or the police. Please give advice. Thank you
Anna - 19-Feb-21 @ 7:53 PM
I have neighbours with wood burning stoves( god alone knows why these are legal) there are so many other options to heat your home than these malfunctioning dirty and frankly ugly burners. Our street is full of smoke and fumes , if you open the windows it comes in, especially as we also have a neighbour who burns regular wood on their open fire , it smells like there is a bushfire closely most evenings. I haste it, I like my windows slightly open even in winter but I can not due to these selfish people . What can I do I live in wandsworth but I can not seem to see where you can report someone for not only burning the wrong fuel but actually just burning it in the grate Someone please let me know Wayne
wayne - 27-Jan-21 @ 11:49 AM
Some interesting comments. Burning Gas by comparison is another 'Evil'. Not renewable. Produces Nitrous Oxide. Your average gas cooker can produce 5 times more, than a modern log burner stove using legal fuel. Wood is sustainable, if aquired from replanting schemes. Has anyone noticed how clear and blue the sky has been since the huge reduction in airline flights. Anyone against log burners use one of those polluting forms of travel? I live near an Airport and haven't had jet fuel residue on my Pond since the start of the Pandemic. Do I have a Log burner? No. Do I have gas central heating? No. Am I considering a Log Burner? Yes. It will be fitted by a professional company. It will be the latest model with dual burn technology. This re -burns the gases to remove Hydrocarbons. I will only burn Kiln dried, Woodsure Logs. It will be serviced regularly and my Flue cleaned every 12 months. It will produce less pollution than your gas cooker, that you are stood over and breathing in, plus anyone else in your house. Of course that will mix with all the other chemicals you use, cleaning products, air fresheners, scented candles, personal toiletries and perfumes. Not to mention the Lung full of carcegenic fumes you get putting Diesel or Petrol in your car. I agree though. There is no excuse for creating visible and stinky smoke, that pervades your neighbours home and garden. Hopefully the new regulations in 2022 will go some way to help clean up the real polluters, who see fit to burn any old rubbish. Final word. Iff what your neighbour is doing affects your quality of life. Go tell them, they may not realise.
Nismo - 18-Jan-21 @ 9:50 PM
Some really interesting comments and advice on this message. Good to know that many others are rebelling against the senseless burning of wood.Are there any UK-wide forums or groups that a campaigning for this that I can join?Also has everyone signed the UK Petition to ban wood burners for on-grid homes?
Jez - 16-Jan-21 @ 5:07 PM
There are way too many people installing log burners in towns and cities in the UK.People think it is trendy and green and they want to be off grid.They see magazines and TV programs promoting the log burner look.What they don't realise is that the smoke pollution coming from these burners is pervasive and very damaging to health in the indoor and outdoor environment.Living with burning neighbours really destroys any chance of healthy life.
Freshair - 23-Dec-20 @ 1:11 PM
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