The Environment Act 1995 introduced a system of local air quality management.
All local authorities have to periodically review and assess the current and likely future air quality in their areas against national air quality objectives for seven air pollutants.
The pollutants of concern are:
Where any objective is unlikely to be met, local authorities must designate those areas as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and make Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs), liaising with the local transport authority, to work towards meeting the objectives.
For Stratford-on-Avon the main source of air pollution is emissions from road traffic. The air quality annual mean objective for nitrogen dioxide was identified as being exceeded in areas dominated by traffic in Stratford upon Avon and Studley. This led to the declaration of two AQMAs.
We have developed new Air Quality Planning Guidance which was endorsed by The Cabinet in January 2019 and will inform the emerging Development Requirements SPD. Developers are required to put in place measures to minimise emissions from the development and, where necessary, offset the impact on the environment.
Monitoring for nitrogen dioxide continues within the AQMAs and is reported annually to Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
To increase public awareness, the Government issues daily air quality bulletins via the national media. These bulletins include health advice for those who may be especially affected by high concentrations of air pollutants.
For further information on air quality management, please contact Environmental Health:
We currently have two AQ Mesh monitors located in Studley and Stratford Upon Avon. These monitors are solar powered units that measure nitrogen dioxide, humidity, temperature and particular matter. Monitors are located within our Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). These locations are chosen to target areas where air pollution is expected to be high such as an area that experiences heavy traffic.
We strongly urge people not to light bonfires at this time so as to protect the respiratory health of vulnerable people and to avoid unnecessary burden on the NHS. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and smoke inhalation can increase breathing difficulties for those that are already unwell. Also, due to restrictions currently in place during the pandemic there are greater numbers of people staying at home. Therefore, smoke from a bonfire can cause unnecessary nuisance to your neighbours.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), a statutory nuisance includes "smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance" and exists when a bonfire is a regularly recurring problem and interferes substantially with nearby residents' "wellbeing, comfort or enjoyment of their property". If a bonfire is emitting dark or black smoke, it is dealt with under the Clean Air Act 1993 - this includes the burning of such material in your garden. Under the Act, it is illegal to dispose of waste that is not from your property on your property - for example from a workplace or neighbour - and small tradesmen must not burn waste from site at home.
If you are being affected by smoke from a bonfire, please use the contact details at the bottom of the page to report the problem.
Please note, one-off bonfires are unlikely to constitute a nuisance.
Burning commercial or trade waste is illegal. You may register for an exemption through the Environment Agency. You can be fined up to £20,000 under the Clean Air Act if you burn trade or commercial waste and it releases dark smoke. Complaints regarding the burning of trade waste should be directed to the Environment Agency:
The Environment Agency has also produced guidance regarding waste management.
There are no smoke control zones in Stratford on Avon District. However, we recommend following the DEFRA guidance on burning solid fuels.
Please be aware that Stratford on Avon District council cannot enforce upon smoky vehicles.
To report a smoky lorry or bus please visit the GOV.UK website on reporting a smoky lorry or bus.
For all other vehicles, please enter the registration number on the DVLA website to see if the vehicle has paid tax and has an MOT. If the vehicle is without tax or an MOT, please report this to the Police non-emergency telephone line 01275 818340, as they deal with reports of unroadworthy vehicles.