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Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act 1993 controls industrial and domestic smoke. 


Chimney height approval

Under section 14 of the Clean Air Act 1993, unless approval for the height of a chimney has been given by the Local Authority and any conditions applied to the approval adhered to, it is an offence for an occupier of a commercial premises to knowingly cause or permit a furnace to be used to:

  • To burn pulverised fuel;
  • to burn, at a rate of 45.4 kilograms or more an hour, any other solid matter; or
  • to burn, at a rate equivalent to 366.4 kilowatts or more, any liquid or gaseous matter

The purpose of this is to ensure that the proposed chimney is high enough to allow adequate dispersion of gases and prevent nuisance being caused.

Please note that this does not apply to domestic premises.


Notification to install a furnace

Under Section 4 of the Act, Council notification is required to install a furnace.


Application to install dust and grit arrestment plant

Under Section 6 of the Act, Council approval is required for grit and dust arrestment plant (where appropriate)


To make an application for chimney height approval, provide notification to install a furnace or make an application to install dust and grit arrestment plant, please use the following chimney height application form.


Smoke control areas

Under the Clean Air Act, it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from a fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area, unless you are burning an authorised fuel or using an 'exempt appliance'. Parts of Medway have been designated smoke control areas.

Please note that this includes domestic chimneys.

The Clean Air Act does not cover bonfires.