Worcester City Council encourages its residents to take some simple steps in order to resolve complaints of bonfires and air pollution themselves.
These nuisances tend to occur at neighbouring properties which enables residents to easily recognise the source of the pollution.
You are then strongly advised to tell whoever is responsible that their actions, or lack of action, are causing a nuisance. You should do this in a friendly manner, and explain exactly what problems you are suffering, such as not being able to open your windows, or not being able to use your garden.
A polite request that, for instance bonfires are not lit in the future, or are done so with prior notice, will be in the majority of cases be listened and agreed to.
If you feel that you are unable to talk to your neighbour, you may wish to write to them instead using a standard letter template. You should make two copies of your letter, give one to your neighbour, and keep the other for your records. The letter on its own may solve the problem, but if not keep a record (Nuisance Diary) of the dates and times, and affects that the nuisance has on you. Keep your records safely, as they may be critical evidence later on.
If after a reasonable period, two weeks for instance, no improvement has been made, you can then consider going to court and making a complaint to the Magistrates' bench. The court makes a charge for this service, and you may get costs awarded against you.
If you do wish to make such a complaint, you should contact the Magistrates' Court in Castle Street, Worcester (01905 743200). Write to the Court to make an appointment, stating that you wish to start action under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Court will advise you of where and when to attend.
If the above actions prove to be unsuccessful, then please contact Worcestershire Regulatory Services (01905 822 799) for advice and, where appropriate, further investigation.
This DOCUMENT explains in detail how to apply to apply to the courts.