Neighbours outdoor wood fired oven
Smoke continually in our yard
, Jan 28 2013 11:56 AM
8 replies to this topic
Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:56 AM
Does anyone know what the regulations are in Vic governing their use?
We live on a hill and the neighbours who live over the back and slightly below us have a wood fired oven built into their pergola.
They have a chimney but it exits right at our house level as they are below us on the hill.
When we first moved in, we didn't think too much of it, as they only used it very occasionally, but lately they have been using it both days on the weekends. I can't hang any washing out, I can't let DS go outside for long as I am concerned that the smoke is no good for him, and no kidding it was so bad the other week, that a neighbour across the road from us rang the CFA because he thought our house was on fire.
If it was the odd occasion I would just suck it up, but as a family we are being badly impacted on being able to enjoy our own property. All doors and windows have to be shut tight or the house ends up stinking, and honestly the smell is just awful most days in our garden.
I have tried looking up the regulations, but can't find anything. I rang the EPA just to ask and they fobbed me off.
We will go and speak with the neighbours to try to reconcile this is a decent manner, but want to know what our rights are first before we go, so they can't fob us off.
Of they raised their chimney a couple of meters it would avoid this problem.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:00 PM
Are you concerned from a total fire ban type issue, or simply because of the smoke?
If the second, is it that different to having a fire for heating? Except it is used a hell of a lot less.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:04 PM
I would ask them to raise the chimney. Just let them know the smoke bothers you but you have no problem with them using it, it's just the smoke blows right at your house.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:09 PM
Every time they put it on, start bringing stuff over to cook in it.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:15 PM
Just so I understand: it's an oven (like a pizza oven?) totally detached from the house? Like a BBQ, but wood fired and closed? Is that right? Do they only use it to cook food? Is the only fuel they use wood/paper/briquettes, or do they use something else?
I don't think you can do much other than to let them know the problems it causes you and ask them to raise the chimney.
If it gets nasty you can go to VCAT and argue that they should raise their chimney, I imagine you would be successful in that. There is a long waiting list for cases like this, so get ready for a wait if you have to go this way.
Hopefully over the winter they will use it a lot less and give you a break.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:16 PM
Hmm sounds like they could be using it to burn stuff?
I have a wood fired pizza oven and it generally only smokes for the first couple of minutes and then dies down. When you use one you heat it up and then let it cool back down before using it and then just maintain the temperature. If you put pizza/food in there when it is roaring and smoking you are guaranteed to ruin anything you try to cook. Trust me I've done it!!
If they have theirs constantly going on the weekends etc I would suggest they're not using it for cooking. Unless they really really like charcoal!
I'm not saying that is definitely what they are doing, but from experience mine doesn't smoke much at all when I'm cooking.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:26 PM
First I would ring the local council and ask if there is any local laws in regards to this. You could also try googling your local council's website to see if this has been brought up in past meetings (ie google the minutes for key words like wood fire smoke and use 'site:.your_council.vic.gov.au so it only searches your council).
Once you are a bit educated about what's allowed, then you could go and have a chat to them and ask that they alter the chimney so you don't get the smoke.
If they do nothing, then you can lodge a complaint to your council.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:50 PM
OP if they are burning stuff off in it, that's where it becomes illegal. In this event you should call your council during business hours, and the CFA evenings and weekends.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:13 PM
Chimney height regulations
This link tells you
Chimneys need to be high enough to ensure that smoke is directed away from where it might be harmful to your neighbours. The current code states that chimney openings need to be at least 300mm higher than the highest part of any roof within 3.6 metres of the chimney.
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