Smoke Control Areas

Smoke Control Areas

The first Smoke Control Areas were declared as a result of one of the worst environmental disasters recorded in this country. In February 1952 over 4000 deaths were attributed to a London smog which was caused by the people of London burning large amounts of coal during a period of very cold weather. Smoke Control Areas (SCAs) were introduced to improve air quality and grants were made available for householders to convert their homes from traditional coal fires to alternative heating sources such as gas, oil, electricity or smokeless coal.

Following the London Smog local authorities were given powers to declare SCAs to ban emissions of smoke from domestic and industrial buildings.
A SCA is an area where only authorised fuels - for example smokeless fuel, coke, and gas may be burned.

SCAs cover most of the Borough with the exception of Easington village, isolated farms and the occasional hamlet. Smoke from chimneys outside SCAs are covered by nuisance provisions.

The Environmental Protection Team is responsible for ensuring that cleaner fuels are burnt in SCAs. Wood and logs are not smokeless fuels and must only be burnt on an exempt applicance . It is acceptable to use small amounts of kindling to light a fire.

It is a common misconception that SCAs relate to smoke from garden bonfires. The Smoke Control Regulations cover smoke from the chimneys of domestic and industrial buildings. It is an offence to emit smoke from the chimney of a building in a SCA.

Authorised / Smokeless fuels

Authorised fuels are fuels which have passed tests to show that they can be burnt on an open fireplace without producing smoke. They include essentially smokeless fuels such as gas, electricity and anthracite together with specific brands of manufactured solid smokeless fuels.

Please see the following link to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs website for fuels which are authorised for use in SCAs in England:

Exempt appliances

Exempt appliances are appliances which have been tested to ensure that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or smoky fuel without producing smoke.

Please note: ordinary wood burning stoves are not exempt appliances and cannot be converted into exempt appliances.

Please see the following link to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs website for a list of exempt appliances which are authorised for use in SCAs in England:
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