Smoke Control Orders cover the majority of the borough, meaning you cannot emit smoke from a chimney unless you burn an authorised fuel or your appliance has been listed as exempt from the legislation.

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Breaches of Smoke Control Orders carry a maximum fine of £1,000.

What can you burn in Smoke Control Areas?

Unless you have an appliance listed as exempt under the legislation, you can only use fuel on the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) list of authorised fuels or one of the following 'smokeless' fuels:

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

You can use kindling in order to start a fire.

Exempt appliances

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

Defra has published a list of exempt appliances on its website.

You must only use fuels recommended by the manufacturer of your appliance.

Outdoor ovens, burners and barbecues

You can use outdoor barbecues, chimineas, fireplaces and pizza ovens in Smoke Control Areas.

However, appliances which release smoke through a chimney of a building, such as a summerhouse, can only burn authorised fuel or be listed as exempt by Defra.

Though permitted under Smoke Control Orders, outdoor barbecues, chimneas, fireplaces and pizza ovens can still be considered a statutory nuisance if it impacts on the health or quality of life of your neighbours.

In such cases, as with garden bonfires, the council can investigate and take enforcement action.

Open fires and wood-burning stoves

Smoke from open fires and wood-burning stoves causes air pollution, so it's important to take simple steps to reduce the environmental and health impacts while helping you:

  • maximise efficiency and burn less fuel
  • reduce the risk of chimney fires
  • reduce smoke and carbon monoxide, which can harm you and your neighbours

Defra has published a guide to help you make your open fire or wood-burning stove more efficient and environmentally-friendly.

Copies of Smoke Control Orders cost £30 (inclusive of VAT). To order a copy of a control order, email