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Smoke from domestic and commercial chimneys

Information about the Hillingdon smoke control area and household open fires and chimneys.

Under the Clean Air Act 1993, Hillingdon has declared the whole borough a smoke control area.

The law in a Smoke Control Area

  • It is an offence to emit smoke from a domestic chimney.
  • It is an offence for any person or company to obtain or deliver unauthorised fuels to a building, unless an exempt appliance is in use.
  • Ordinary wood and bituminous coal are not authorised fuels.
  • Smoke control areas only restrict smoke from domestic chimneys and do not cover domestic and comercial bonfires.

Report it

Open fires - what fuels can I use

You will need to obtain either:

  • an anthracite product which is inherently smokeless
  • a product such as fire logs or briquettes which is listed on the approved list of authorised fuels

Burning wood or coal - how can I do this

You can only burn wood chips, pellets, logs or coal in an exempt appliance. These are appliances (ovens, wood burners and stoves) which have been exempted by Statutory Instruments (orders) under the Clean Air Act 1993. These have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.

Current exempt appliances »

Emissions of dark smoke from commercial chimneys

Further powers exist under the Clean Air Act which control dark smoke emissions from chimneys. Please notify us immediately so that an investigation can be made.

Certain industrial sites are issued with an Environmental Permit which controls emissions to air.

Neighbour has smoke coming from their chimney - how will my complaint be investigated

We will write to both parties to explain these requirements and confirm the type of fuel being burned. This may be sufficient to resolve the matter at an early stage. Non-compliance will trigger monitoring visits and necessary enforcement action will then be taken.

Further information

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has produced a useful website called UK Smoke Control Areas.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 26 Oct 2017 at 14:33