Prolific bonfire lighter from Tilsworth is fined after ignoring warnings to stop

Bonfire (archive photo)
Bonfire (archive photo)

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

Following complaints from neighbouring residents Central Beds Council investigated and served an abatement notice on 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 Beds 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 March 26 was found guilty in his absence and was ordered to pay £2,337 – comprising of a £1,320 fine, £951 costs and a victim surchare of £66.

Jeanette Keyte, Head of Community Safety, Parking and Programmes at Central Beds 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.”

Residents worried that a domestic bonfire is causing a nuisance can call 0300 300 8302 or email asb&statnuisanceteam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

If the bonfire is caused by a business or is on a commercial property, then contact the Public Protection team on pollution@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or 0300 300 8302.

You can also visit the website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/environment/domestic-pollution/smoke.aspx for further information.