LETTER: Protection is not enforced

Your letters
Your letters

I was delighted to read West Sussex County Council leader, Louise Goldsmith, express her green credentials in this paper recently.

Regrettably, in keeping with all politicians, words are cheap and actions seldom match the good intentions.

It is the political ‘de rigueur’ at present to blame diesel cars and lorries for the high level of environmental pollution, knowing full well that having encouraged the population to buy diesel and a majority having done so, there is little that can now be done.

If you live in Billingshurst, however, it is not diesel cars that are the problem, but smoke from bonfires and chimneys.

On Sunday, my wife and I were enjoying a lovely autumn day in the garden, when we were forced indoors by the smoke from a chimney.

One has to wonder why successive governments are closing fossil-fuelled power stations, penalising industry and forcing the taxpayer to subsidise useless wind farms, while allowing individuals to cause as much smoke as they like.

Of course, there is the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which is designed to control smoke from businesses and homes.

It means that the occupier of a business premises or house must not cause nuisance to other people through smoke. This covers smoke from bonfires, chimneys and boilers, in fact from all sources of combustion.

Today, it is accepted that to be a nuisance, smoke must not affect you at home or your place of work, change what you do in your home or workplace to the extent that you are prevented from sitting outside in your garden, make you move rooms inside the house, leave the house, or at the very least makes you uncomfortable and occurs either reasonably frequently, weekly or more often for short periods or continue for several days.

Unfortunately, like the Clean Air Act, it is not enforced or implemented by the county council or district council, in spite of the dangers to people’s health.

Robert Bishop

Broomfield Drive, Billingshurst


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