Tilsworth man fined over smoke nuisance

A man from Tilsworth has been ordered to pay fines of over £2,300 this month after he repeatedly lit bonfires despite being served with a legal notice to stop.

Following complaints from neighbouring residents, Central Bedfordshire Council investigated and served an abatement notice on Mr John Price of Dunstable Road in Tilsworth. An abatement notice is a legal document that requires someone to stop what they are doing if the council considers it a nuisance.

The notice was issued by Central Bedfordshire Council in July 2018. However, Mr Price ignored this and continued to regularly light bonfires: even in the lead up to his court case, he was still seen lighting bonfires on 20 separate occasions.

Mr Price who failed to attend Luton Magistrates’ Court on 26 March was found guilty in his absence and was ordered to pay costs of £2,337.

Jeanette Keyte, Head of Community Safety, Parking and Programmes at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “I would like to remind residents that large bonfires can produce excessive amounts of smoke. If left to burn for long periods of time, they can significantly impact on neighbouring properties.

“There’s nothing more important than the air we breathe. Whilst legal action is always a last resort, we had no option but to act in this case. We hope this conviction serves as a warning to others. It shows that we will take action to stop those causing a nuisance in the community.”

Any residents worried about a smoke problem should visit: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/environment/domestic-pollution/smoke.aspx

*stock photographs used in this item.