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Builder burning waste in back garden regularly over 2 months!

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by jaba, 9 Oct 2017.

  1. jaba

    jaba

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    Apologies if this is the wrong area of the forum for this.

    A builder has been working on a residential property near me for around 3 months, for at least 2 months they have been burning anything and everything in the back garden.
    Often a strong smell of plastic like today, painted fence panels and some vegetation mixed in.
    My chest and throat are very sore after breathing this think acrid blue smoke in.
    Smoke was right across road today so not possible to avoid, risk to traffic at times I think also when it gets really thick.

    If the builders burnt all their junk later in the afternoon maybe it wouldn't be a problem, but to keep burning around 2 and 3pm seems when kids are walking home from school can't be right.

    Does anyone know how best to deal with this. So far talking to them has had no results and they've been rude to two of my neighbours saying they can do whatever they like! Very nice :sick:

    With all the house upgrades in my area clean air no longer exists, but the council has spent many thousand putting up low emission zone signs, if that doesn't apply to everyone then it's about making money and not about clean air IMO.
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    your local council, possibly environmental health, might be classed as a "nuisance"

    in some areas there are bylaws regulating bonfires and the like.
     
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  4. chappers

    chappers

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    and definitely rules about burning hazardous materials such as plastic. If smoke is blowing across the highway they will be made to stop. Call the police non emergency line next time it happens.
     
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  5. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Or the fire brigade if its bad enough.

    Andy
     
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  6. jaba

    jaba

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    Thanx for the fast replies guys.
    One of my neighbours since had enough and said he was going to call the police.
    I've called council twice and at first a month ago or so was told they can't stop people from burning stuff in their own garden, but I had to make it clear to her it was building waste from the house and not the homeowner and could smell plastic etc. I thought at the time were going to do something.
    Again to today council seemed little interested and put me through to environmental health, no answer, no message on the answerphone, perhaps seems a bad sign that this issue is not being treated seriously.

    I now have chest pains from all the coughing after walking through this thick acrid blue smoke today.
    Thanx for the advice, I'll have to try contacting environmental health again and as suggested police and fire-brigade maybe if I see it thick as it was today.
    From what I can see they've ripped down approx 80ft or more of painted fence and burnt the lot today, so that probably why it's so bad, years and years of paint and/or wood preserver gone up in smoke!
    That amount of stuff should have gone in a skip or to a tip IMO.
     
  7. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    By calling the fire brigade will ensure someone turns up within 10 minutes, if the builder is burning 'stuff' that he shouldn't be then he would get a severe warning with the fire being put out.

    Obviously you would only call them if you thought it was a danger to other properties.:whistle:

    Andy
     
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  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    If they don't answer the phones, write a short letter. With luck it will get logged and passed to someone who knows what to do.

    Keep it short. If you include five points they might just deal with the easiest.

    The like a log with times and dates.
     
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  9. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    ...if the builder hasn't already stuck that on the bonfire too. (I'll get my coat)
     
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  11. eddieed

    eddieed

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    My planning permission has a condition against it that I am not allowed to burn rubbish on site. If they needed planning check their conditions, if they are in breach then call the planning department.
     
  12. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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  13. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    Not always?

    A builder friend of mine has some sort of "Grandfathers rights" to burn building waste in his yard.
    Also I have read that any infected timber should be bunt on site to stop it spreading.

    Both may be rubbish so I am happy to stand corrected if anyone knows for sure.
    My neighbors are quick to call the fire brigade when anyone has a bonfire so I have always said its infected timber and they have been happy with that.
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It's covered by environmental law (council), and workplace law (HSE). Also actionable under private nuisance via an injunction - which will be quicker than anything else.
     
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  15. chappers

    chappers

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    had a similar issue with a guy two doors down constantly burning rubbish from his building work, essentially everyone said there was little they could do, unless it was dangerous.
    Well one evening after finishing work he left and a few hours later I returned home and the whole of his garden including both fences were alight with flames rising to about 15 feet. the fire brigade turned up and put it out, they had to gain access through the neighbours garden
    To my amazement the next day he started another fire, god knows how because they were dousing it down for over an hour and all of the rubbish must have been soaked.
    I phoned the fire brigade and they said there wasn't really anything they could do to stop him having a fire, I then said that surely he can't be allowed to have another unattended fire after last nights episode.
    "unattended" they said, "we'll be there in 10 mins" and sure enough they were. He hasn't had a fire since.
     
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  16. jaba

    jaba

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    Thanx everyone for all the helpful advice.

    A real shame the council don't appear interested, never did get a call back when I left a message for environmental health either! And at least 3 people complained including myself.

    I've passed on the info here to some of my neighbours so if the burning continues they are more informed and can maybe take a more direct approach by maybe contacting environmental health or council with a follow-up email as I think a lot of phone calls don't even get logged!
    When I asked the council what action was taken when I made a call a few weeks ago she didn't have an answer for me!

    If I see thick smoke like that again I will call fire-brigade or police.

    The council told one of my neighbours they couldn't do anything unless it was thick black smoke!
    Of course the smoke doesn't need to be that thick or black to be harmful. They seem to be working on the principle that if you can't see it, then it's not there!

    I’ll do everything suggested, but hopefully some of my neighbours closer to the issue will take it up, I’m always dealing with stuff like fly tipping, people hacking at protected trees, dumped cars etc etc.

    I will keep a log and check the planning info and also take a close look at environmental law and workplace law (HSE) so I can at least know more what I’m talking about before I call council next time.

    Very appreciated for all the info.
     
  17. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Get through to the complaints department of your council, it will get logged then.
     
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