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Smoke and air pollution

Last updated on: 16-Oct-2020

3. Smoke from chimneys

Most of the urban area of Gravesend and Northfleet is within a Smoke Control Area that prohibits smoke coming from the chimneys or flues of houses, businesses or other buildings.

Smoke Control Areas were set up to protect air quality as tiny particles of soot can be breathed into lungs and cause/worsen heart and lung diseases.

If you wish to burn solid fuels in a Smoke Control Area you can only burn smokeless fuels or use a Department of Food Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) approved appliance. Such an appliance must only be used with the fuel it was designed for and must be installed, used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Chimneys must be tall enough so as not to cause fume to exit at window height etc.

Defra have produced two guides for people wishing to burn or considering burning logs:

Open fires and wood-burning stoves – Practical Guide (Defra)

You can find further information, including a list of Defra approved appliances that can be used in smoke control areas, at GOV.UK.

Alternatively, please see the Smoke Control Area Page for more information or you can get advice about smoke control and whether your building is in a smoke control area by emailing ep@gravesham.gov.uk or by phoning 01474 337000

People responsible for emitting smoke from a chimney or flue can be prosecuted and receive a fine of up to £1,000 for each day they emit smoke from their chimney or flue.

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