Local Authorities are responsible for designation and supervision of Smoke Control Areas. To be certain if you are, or are not, located in a Smoke Control Area it is recommended that you contact the Environmental Health or Protection department of your Local Authority.
Legislation for Smoke Control Areas
The Government has the power to authorise Smokeless Fuels (fuels authorised for use in a Smoke Control Area) or Exempt Appliances for use in Smoke Control Areas in England.
In Scotland and Wales this power rests with he Ministers in their respective Parliaments. Separate legislation, the Clean Air Order 1981, applies in Northern Ireland.
It is a requirement that fuels burnt or obtained for use in Smoke Control Areas have been authorised in regulations and that appliances used to burn solid fuel, other than Authorised Smokeless Fuels have been exempted by an Order made and signed by the Secretary of State or Minister.
Your Local Authority is responsible for enforcing legislation in Smoke Control Areas.
Authorised Smokeless Fuels
Stoves that are not an Exempt Appliance which are used inside of a Smoke Control Area must use Authorised Smokeless Fuel. A popular choice is anthracite which is high in carbon and lo win volatile matter (less than 10%vm). The DEFRA website has a list of Authorised Smokeless Fuels searchable by country.
Firewood is not an Authorised Smokeless Fuel and is only permitted for use with an Exempt Appliance which has been exempted specifically for wood burning.
Unseasoned, et wood will burn inefficiently with lots more smoke. Seasoned wood, either air dried or kiln dried will burn with minimal smoke. Look for HETAS certified wood or wood that has a stated moisture content of under 25%. Although this moisture content is not legally required, it is considered best practice to only burn firewood that has a moisture content below this figure. In the exemption notice for appliances, it may state that the wood must be dry seasoned logs or even specify a maximum moisture content.
Exempt appliances are appliances such as ovens, boilers and stoves which have been exempted under the Clean Air Act 1993 or in Northern Ireland Clean Air Order 1981.
These Appliances have been tested to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised fuel and only emit minimal quantities of smoke.