Proposals to ban bonfires in Croydon from 6am to sunset were approved by Croydon Cabinet on Monday, as part of a plan to improve air quality.
The bonfire proposals will undergo a two-year review period and public consultation before a final decision is made, Councillor Stuart King told the meeting at Croydon Town Hall.
This comes after a preliminary public consultation found 55 per cent of residents supported a bonfire ban between 6am and 8pm.
Conservative councillor for Fairfield, Vidhi Mohan, said a sunset cut-off time is problematic because the sun sets at different times according to the season.
However, King said sunset was chosen because the council “wanted to have something flexible”.
Councillor Sean Fitzsimons was disappointed the council is not imposing a “blanket ban”, given the implications for air pollution in the borough. Fitzsimons, a Labour councillor for Addiscombe, said this is especially important considering council data shows that 250 people die of air pollution related illnesses in Croydon each year, about 20 times the number that die in traffic collisions.
King said the sunset cut-off was chosen as a middle ground between those who support a limited ban and those who do not.
The ban on bonfires is one of 50 other actions targeting sources of emissions in the borough.
Nitrogen oxide pollution in Croydon comes from road transport, domestic and gas heating, and non-road mobile machinery, while the sources of particulate matters are road transport, resuspension and non-road mobile machinery.
Other actions to improve air quality approved in the plan include:
- A requirement for construction sites to utilise new technology for diesel generators;
- Idling vehicle checks, including around schools;
- An accelerated introduction of vehicles complying with the strictest European emission standards to borough’s fleet;
- Installation of more cycling and walking infrastructure;
- Investment in more pocket parks; and
- Imposition of 20mph speed limits in built up residential areas.