Air quality and pollution

Find out how to report air pollution and learn about the air quality in our area.

Air pollution from bonfires

Bonfires cause smoke that can stop neighbours from enjoying their homes and gardens.

Smoke can also make breathing harder for people with respiratory conditions.

Burning garden waste in your own garden is not illegal, but we do not recommend it. Garden waste can be composted, put in a Green Waste Club brown bin, or taken to your local household recycling centre

We can act against bonfire smoke if it is causing a nuisance. Report it to us online any time and we will investigate.

Find out how we deal with nuisance from domestic bonfires.

Report bonfire smoke

Other sources of air pollution

Pollution can be caused by different things, not just garden bonfires.

Dust from building sites

Dust made by building and construction work can be annoying for neighbours. The dust can settle on other houses, windows and cars. This could be classed as a nuisance. If the builders have evidence that they have taken "best practicable means" to control the dust, it is unlikely action can be taken.

accordion end
Bonfires on commercial sites including demolitions

Control over burning on commercial sites is enforced by the Environment Agency. However there are some exceptions, and if the burning is causing a nuisance action can be taken.

accordion end

If you are concerned about another source of pollution, for example smoke from building sites or chimneys, report it to us at any time.

Report air pollution

Air quality

Our latest research shows that air quality in the district is good, with pollution levels low.

Air quality is measured by checking the level of certain gasses and particulates in the air.

Gasses that lead to dangerous pollution include Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Particulates are the solid and liquid particles in the air like dust and soot.

We measure these levels at certain places throughout the area each month. Each year we produce an annual report on the air quality in Arun.

Annual Status Report 2020 [pdf] 2MB

Annual Status Report 2019 [pdf] 1MB

Annual Status Report 2018 [pdf] 1MB

Annual Status Report 2017 [pdf] 1MB

Local air quality management

We have completed a review and assessment of local air quality and joined with other local authorities in West Sussex to create a joint Air Quality Action Plan. This plan, called 'Breathing Better', shows how we are working together to improve air quality across West Sussex.

Sussex Air

Sussex Air is a partnership of all the local authorities in Sussex. ​

​The purpose of the partnership is to:​
  • help local authorities to meet their statutory obligations to assess and report on local air quality
  • provide information to the public on air quality in their area
  • develop and deliver projects to improve local air quality and to reduce people’s exposure to poor air quality 

The latest air quality reports for our area are available on their website.

We have worked with other Sussex authorities to produce guidance on air quality and emissions mitigation for planned developments [pdf] 1.22MB.

We expect developers to have followed this guidance. We will ask for an air quality assessment if we think the air quality impacts from development will be detrimental to the environment or human health.