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Public Spaces Protection Orders

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) specify an area where activities are taking place that may negatively affect the local community's quality of life.

PSPOs impose conditions or restrictions on people using that area, such as alcohol bans or putting up gates (since 2014 PSPOs have replaced Alley Gating Orders).

Breach of a PSPO may be a criminal offence punishable by fixed penalty notice or prosecution.


What is a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)?

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in an area that has a detrimental effect on the local community's quality of life by imposing restrictions on certain behaviours. The orders are designed so that we can all enjoy the use of public spaces safely.

A PSPO can last up to three years. The Council can - after further consultation - extend it for another three-year period. It would only do so if it is considered proportionate and necessary.


Moorland Fires Public Space Protection Order 2023

What area is covered by the PSPO?

Working Together - Chorley, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen:

A wildfire can rapidly burn across acres of moorland destroying everything in its path. It is important that any restrictions put in place apply across the wider moorland area. Chorley, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen Councils have therefore worked together to introduce a PSPO in each of their local authority areas which include the same restrictions.

The below map shows the land covered by the restrictions under a PSPO across the three local authority areas.

To find out more about the PSPO in place at Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, please visit their websites.

Chorley PSPO area map (PDF) [2MB]

All PSPO areas (PDF) [2MB]

Signed PSPO (PDF) [1MB]

What does the PSPO mean for people living in, or visiting, the area?

The proposed PSPO would prohibit (ban) certain activities within the boundaries of the PSPO which have been identified as carrying a significant risk of causing wildfires. This includes the lighting or tending of fires, barbecues, fireworks, sky lanterns or using any article/object which causes a naked flame.

What is the penalty for breaching the PSPO?

  • A £100 fine on the spot, known as a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) which must be paid within 14 days.
  • A fine of up to £1,000 if the charge goes to court. Defendants may also face the prospect of added court costs, and if convicted, they will obtain a criminal record for the offence.

Can anybody appeal the introduction of the PSPO?

Anyone who lives in, regularly works in, or visits the area can appeal a PSPO in the High Court within 6 weeks of it being made.

How will people who don't live in the area or visit frequently know about the PSPO and the restrictions in place?

Signage will be located across the PSPO area which will indicate to visitors that the restrictions are in place and the behaviour that is prohibited. Given the size of the area and the nature of the land it is not possible to have signs everywhere and we ask that you visit our web page to check the maps if you are planning a trip to the area.

My property is within the PSPO area - what does this mean for me?

The Public Space Protection Order would only apply to public spaces where the public or any section of the public has access to, whether this is by payment, by right or by express or implied permission. This therefore does not include a private garden for example. However, we would ask you to consider the impact of what you are doing within your property, behave appropriately and take precautionary action to prevent the risk of fire.

Does the PSPO stop me from managing my land?

No. However, we would always ask that your actions are lawful and in consultation with the fire service, and that you have taken all the necessary steps to be compliant. We also ask that you ensure you comply with any requirements put in place by the landowner as appropriate.

What do I do if I see somebody breaching the PSPO?

 If you feel their actions are likely to cause a fire, damage land and/ or put the community at risk this is an emergency so please ring 999. If you simply want to report an issue or concern which doesn't require an emergency response, please contact the Council on 01257 515151 or email  Alternatively, you can contact the police on 101 (non-emergency number).

Who do I speak to, to find out more about the PSPO?

If you have any further questions about the proposed PSPO, or would like to speak to someone about PSPOs more generally, please email





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