Clean Air Act
The first Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956 in response to one of the UK's worst environmental disasters. In a single five-day period, over 4,000 deaths were attributed to a London smog caused mainly by coal burning.
The acts, now consolidated in the Clean Air Act 1993, allowed councils to establish smoke control areas to improve air quality by the burning of cleaner fuels in these areas.
The Clean Air Act 1993 controls domestic and industrial smoke and gives local authorities the powers to create smoke control areas.
These areas help the UK to meet air quality standards for sulphur dioxide and particulates set by European law.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 smoke emitted from a domestic chimney outside a smoke control area is also covered by nuisance provisions.
Smoke control areas
These are areas where the emission of smoke from chimneys of dwellings is prohibited and smoke from other premises is controlled by orders under the Clean Air Act.
It is an offence for an occupier of premises to allow smoke to be emitted from a chimney, unless the smoke is being caused by an authorised fuel or the fireplace which the chimney serves is exempt from the order.
If you live in a smoke control area
Living in a smoke control area does not necessarily mean that you must give up an open fire, but it may mean installing a more modern heating appliance capable of burning solid smokeless fuel, or adaptation of your fire or boiler, to meet the requirements of the order.
Details of authorised smokeless fuels and their proper use should be available from all reputable coal merchants and from the Solid Fuel Association website.
Coal and wood are not authorised smokeless fuels and should not be burnt on fires.
However, any coal, wood or other fuel which is not an authorised smokeless fuel, used in a smoke control area must be burnt on an exempt heating appliance. These appliances are designed to burn off their own smoke.
If you are thinking of buying an appliance to burn a fuel that is not an authorised smokeless fuel, always check the appliance is exempt for use in a smoke control area.
If you live outside of a smoke control area
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 smoke emitted from a domestic chimney outside a smoke control area can be deemed a statutory nuisance if it is prejudicial to health or causing a nuisance.
Therefore it is best, if at all possible to avoid burning smoky fuels.
Smoke control orders do not apply to domestic bonfires, however under certain circumstances, they can be deemed a statutory nuisance.
We prefer to adopt an educational role to help people's understanding of the need for smoke control areas and why it is important for everyone to comply with this legislation.
Where appropriate, however, we will take court action against persons or companies found to be committing an offence.
Map of the smoke control area
The shaded area on the above map marks out the smoke control area. The list of streets below is not exhaustive.
|Streets||Streets (continued)||Streets (continued)|
|Adam's Road||Gonville Place (North)||Newnham Mill|
|All Saints Passage||Gough Way||Newnham Road|
|Amhurst Court||Grange Gardens||Newnham Road (East)|
|Archway Court||Grange Road||Newnham Terrace|
|Barton Close||Granta Place||Newnham Walk|
|Barton Road||Grantchester Meadows||Northampton Street|
|Beaufort Place||Grantchester Mews||Owlstone Road|
|Belmont Place||Grantchester street||Park Parade|
|Bene't Street||Green Street||Park Street Terrace|
|Blackmoor Head Yard||Green Street||Parson's Court|
|Botolph Lane||Guildhall Street||Pearce Close|
|Botolph Lane||Hardwick Street||Peas Hill|
|Bradwells Court||Hedgersley Close||Pembroke Street|
|Bridge Street||Hershel Road||Penarth Road|
|Brook Gardens Estate||Hobson Place/Street||Petty Cury|
|Bulstrode Gardens||Jesus Lane||Pike's Walk|
|Burrell Walk||Jordan's Yard||Pinehurst Street|
|Camden Court||King's Parade||Portugal Place/Street|
|Cenocle||King's Parade/Street||Post Office Terrace|
|Chapneys Walk||King's Road||Quayside|
|Chedworth Street||Lammas Fields||Queens' Lane|
|Church rate Walk||Laundress Lane||Queen's Road (West)|
|Clare Road||Lensfied Road||Regent Street/Terrace|
|Clerk Maxwell Road||Lion Yard||Ridley Hall Road|
|Cockcroft Place||Little St. Mary's Lane||Rose Crescent|
|Corn Exchange Street||Lower Park Street||Round Church Street|
|Corn Exchange Street||Madingley Road (South)||Selwyn Gardens|
|Cranmer Road||Madingley Road (the Lawns)||Selwyn Road|
|Croft Lodge||Magdelene Street||Senate House Passage|
|Dane Drive||Malcolm Street Place||Sidgewick Road|
|Derby Street||Malting Court||Sidney Street|
|Downing Place/Street||Manor Street||Sidney Street|
|Downing Street||Market Hill||Silver Street|
|Drummer Street||Market Passage||South Green Road|
|Eltisley Avenue||Market Street||Spens Avenue|
|Emmanuel Road (West)||Marlowe Road||St. Edward's Passage|
|Emmanuel Street||Merton Street||St. Mary's Passage|
|Fen Causeway (North)||Mill Lane||St. Mary's Street|
|Fitzwilliam Street||Millars Yard||Tennis Court Road/Terrace|
|Free School Lane||Millington Road||Trinity Street/Lane|
|Fullbrook Road||New Park Street||Trumpington Street|
|Garret Hostel Lane||Newnham Croft Road||Victoria Avenue (West)|