Smoke control areas: the rules

The majority of the borough is a 'smoke control area'. 

  • there’s a limit on how much smoke you can release from a chimney
  • you can only burn authorised fuel, unless you use an ‘exempt appliance’

In England you may have to pay a penalty of up to £300 if your local council decides your chimney releases too much smoke.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you burn unauthorised fuel without an exempt appliance.

Find out if you live in a smoke control area

To find out if your property is within a smoke control area, visit the link and and click the constraints tab. 

What you can burn in smoke control areas

In a smoke control area you can only burn fuel on the list of authorised fuels, or any of the following ‘smokeless’ fuels, unless you’re using an exempt appliance:

  • anthracite
  • semi-anthracite
  • gas
  • low volatile steam coal

Burn better: Making changes for cleaner air

You might not realise it, but burning wood and other solid fuels can produce a lot of harmful air pollution both inside and outside of your home.

Oil and kindling

You can use oil or other liquid fuels in specially designed or adapted fireplaces.

Exempt appliances that can burn unauthorised fuels

Unauthorised fuels, such as wood, can only be burned in exempt appliances such as some boilers, cookers and stoves.

You must only use the types of fuel that the manufacturer says can be used in the appliance.

Outdoor ovens, burners and barbecues

You can use outdoor barbecues, chimineas, fireplaces or pizza ovens in smoke control areas.

If your appliance uses a chimney on the roof of a building (for example, a summerhouse), you can only burn authorised fuel unless it’s an exempt appliance.

Garden bonfires

You’re allowed garden bonfires in smoke control areas but you need to follow the rules on bonfires.