Smoke control areas

A smoke control area is an area set by the council where smoke is not allowed to escape from chimneys unless you’re burning an authorised fuel or using ‘exempt appliances’, for example burners or stoves.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you break the rules.

Smoke control areas in Medway

Under the Clean Air Act the council may declare the whole or part of the district of the authority to be a smoke control area. Parts of Medway Council’s district are within a smoke control area which is meant to reduce smoke pollution. 

To find out whether your property is located within a smoke control area please use the Medway Map Service. Select the environment map then select build a map and tick the smoke control areas box.

What you can burn in smoke control areas

In a smoke control area you can only burn fuel on the list of authorised fuels, or any of the following ‘smokeless’ fuels, unless you’re using an exempt appliance:

  • anthracite
  • semi-anthracite
  • gas
  • low volatile steam coal

Authorised fuels have passed tests to show that they can burn in an open fireplace without producing smoke.

Exempt appliances that can burn unauthorised fuels

Unauthorised fuels, such as wood, can only be burned in exempt appliances such as some boilers, cookers and stoves.

You must only use the types of fuel that the manufacturer says can be used in the appliance.

Garden bonfires

You’re allowed garden bonfires in smoke control areas but you need to follow the rules on bonfires.