Smoke Control Areas

Introduction

Some parts of the District have been designated as smoke control areas. Residents and businesses in these areas are restricted as to the types of solid fuels that can be burnt in their properties.

Background

In 1952, London experienced the “great smog", a combination of fog and smoke from the burning of coal in domestic and industrial buildings. It was estimated that as many as 12,000 people died as a direct result of the poor air quality. It led to the introduction of the first Clean Air Act which brought in powers to issue orders, designating smoke control areas. In these areas smoke is not allowed to be emitted from chimneys.

South Staffordshire Council, and the preceding local authorities, Seisdon Rural District Council and Sedgley Urban District Council, made a number of orders which are still in force in the parishes of Wombourne, Perton, and Himley.

What does living in a smoke control area mean for me?

Many people think that living in a smoke control area means that you can't have bonfires. This isn't true. If you are having problems with regard to bonfire smoke we have information here. The order only applies to burning fuel on fireplaces, stoves, in boilers and other similar appliances. It is in effect preventing emissions of smoke from chimneys and flues of buildings.

This is normally achieved in one of three ways

  1. You will be using electricity, gas or oil to produce heat in your home.
  2. You will be burning a solid smokeless fuel on a suitable appliance
  3. You will be burning other fuel (this may include wood) on an exempt appliance

Further information is also available on authorised smokeless fuels and exempt appliances.

Am I in a smoke Control Area?

The following map indicates the location of the smoke control areas in South Staffordshire (in light green). Links to high definition maps of the areas are provided, or via the links below.

Smoke Control Maps

Higher resolution PDFs:

Wombourne, (566 KB)

Himley (372 KB)

Perton, (430 KB)

Wolverhampton (401 KB)

What happens if you see smoke coming from a chimney?

You should report the matter to our pollution control team (our contact details are below). Alternatively, we have an online form to report pollution here.

The Clean Air Act 1993 sets out the following offences in relation to smoke control areas: -

  • It is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area.
  • It is also an offence to acquire an “unauthorised fuel" for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an “exempt" appliance

The current maximum level of fine is £1,000 for each offence.

Contact

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South Staffs Council

Wolverhampton Road, Codsall

South Staffordshire

WV8 1PX

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