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Smoke control areas

Information about smoke from chimneys in domestic properties, and the smoke control areas

Clean Air Acts

Because of the smog and poor air quality in the 1950's & 1960's, the Clean Air Acts 1956 & 1968 were introduced. These acts controlled emissions of smoke, grit, dust & fumes. They also gave us the power to declare smoke control areas. In a smoke control area emissions of smoke from chimneys of domestic properties were not allowed.

The clean Air Act 1993 was introduced which took over from the previous Clean Air Acts. In this act:

  • we can still declare a smoke control area
  • it is an offence to allow smoke from a domestic chimney, unless the smoke is caused by an authorised fuel
  • coal, oil and wood cannot be used as fuel, unless burnt on exempted fireplaces (unless there is no emission of smoke)

Authorised fuels include smokeless fuels such as gas, electricity, anthracite and certain proprietary smokeless solid fuels.

Smoke control areas (SCA) in the borough

For more information on smoke control areas, please see the burnright guide

Burning wood and coal

If your property is in an SCA you must either:

  • burn authorised fuel, or
  • use an exempted fireplace

You can find out more on our burning wood and coal page.

Reporting a smoke problem

If a smoke or air pollution problem is harmful to health or causing a disturbance, we may be able to investigate. You can find out more on our bonfire and smoke nuisance page.