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Burning wood and coal

Important advice and information if you use wood-burning stoves or coal

DEFRA guidance

Heating your home or business using wood or coal can have a negative effect on air quality.

The use of open fires and wood-burning stoves has risen over the last few years. Domestic wood and coal burning are now the largest contributions to harmful particle emissions. They made up around 40% of the total in 2015.

Tiny particles in smoke can cause breathing problems, as well as contributing to other health conditions.

We’re asking anyone who uses wood-burning stoves or coal to take note of the guidance issued by DEFRA.

There's helpful information on how to burn safely and efficiently on the burnright website. You can find out about lower emission Ecodesign stoves from the Stove Industry Alliance.

It is also important to get the most from your fuel and ensure wood is seasoned.


Biomass is a renewable low carbon fuel. There is growing interest in biomass for both heating and power generation.

Larger boilers may require a permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. And where fuels are derived from waste, stricter controls apply. Your supplier should be able to give you advice.

More information is available from the Energy Saving Trust.

Smoke control areas

Some areas of King’s Lynn are smoke control areas (SCA). If your property is in an SCA you must either :

Check if your property is in an SCA

Smoke complaints

Our Community Safety and Neighbourhood Nuisance Team investigate smoke complaints as either:

  • a statutory nuisance, or
  • as waste disposal offences (this is mainly in commercial situations)

We recommend that you:

If our investigation concludes that you are causing a statutory nuisance, we may require you to carry out work to fix the problem, at your own expense.