A traditional wood burning stove can make a beautiful addition to your home. However, before installing one you should consider certain legal requirements.
You must determine whether or not your house is in a smoke control area and ensure no smoke from your chimney causes a nuisance to any nearby properties.
Am I in a smoke control area?
Parts of the borough sit within a smoke control area, which is meant to reduce smoke pollution and improve air quality.
Report smoke pollution
If you are being troubled by a neighbour using a wood burning stove in a smoke control area you can report it to us.
Authorised fuels and exempt appliances
To avoid problems with wood burning stoves in smoke control areas, you can either burn smokeless fuels, called ‘authorised fuels’, or have a low emissions wood burner, referred to as an ‘exempt appliance’ installed. Full lists of these are on the UK smoke control areas website (external link).
Smoke control area restrictions
It's an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building (including a domestic chimney), furnace or any fixed boiler if it is located in a designated smoke control area.
It's also an offence to acquire unauthorised fuel for use within a smoke control area unless it's used in an exempt appliance. The current maximum level of fine is £1,000 for each offence.
Air Quality Regulations
Restrictions on the sale of firewood, manufactured solid fuels and coal sold for combustion in domestic premises.
The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 (external link) place restrictions on fuel sold for combustion in domestic premises from 01 May 2021:
Smoke produced from wet wood increases the maintenance and repair requirements of an appliance, making it more expensive to run and harder to keep in a safe, effective condition. Only buy retail bags of wood fuel clearly labelled as 'Ready to Burn' (external link) by a certified supplier.
Find out more information about the Air Quality Regulations 2020 and the ‘Ready to burn’ scheme here.