2. Smoke control areas

Under the Clean Air Act, Stockport has been designated a Smoke Control Area (SCA). SCAs forbid certain types of fuels to be burned in specific areas. This is to improve local air quality. It is an offence for householders in a SCA to allow emissions of smoke from a chimney, unless an exempt appliance or authorised or smokeless fuel is used. The fine is £1000.

If you're considering installing an oil or solid fuel burning appliance (such as wood burning stove or oil fired cooker) you must get confirmation from the supplier that it's an exempt appliance. If the appliance is not exempt, only smokeless or authorised fuel is permitted to be burnt. Further controls were introduced on 1 May 2021 to control the sale of bagged traditional house coal and wet wood. You can visit the Clean Air Greater Manchester website from more information. You can also find out more about smokeless and authorised fuels, and details of exempt appliances on GOV.UK.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has written a guide on open fires and wood burning stoves. The guide provides information on using wood burning stoves or open fires to
reduce environmental and health impacts as well as benefiting you directly by:

  • maximising efficiency, meaning you burn less fuel
  • reducing the risk of chimney fires
  • reducing smoke and carbon monoxide which can be harmful to you and your neighbours

You can also find advice on the procedures to follow when lighting a stove to minimise smoke emissions on the Burn Right website.

You'll also need Building Control consent to install an oil or solid fuel burning appliance, unless the work is carried out by a member of the Competent Persons Scheme. Visit GOV.UK for a list of authorised installers of combustion appliances.

You can find out if you live in an SCA by using the map below:

For more information on SCAs, visit the government website.