What are the Smoke Controlled areas and a DEFRA approved appliance?

Many people frequently ask about the implications of installing solid fuel and wood burning appliances in “smoke controlled areas”. In brief, the Clean Air Act allows Local authorities to declare “smoke controlled areas” in which the emissions of smoke from domestic properties are banned. This act was originally created to prevent the damaging “smogs” that used to frequently occur.

Under the Act it is also an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, which is located in a “smoke controlled area” or to acquire an “unauthorised fuel” for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an “exempt” appliance. Many parts of the UK are still designated as “smoke control areas”. More details can be viewed at http://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk, which also gives information on authorised fuels and exempt appliances. A DEFRA approved appliance is one that has passed specific tests for burning wood in smoke control areas. Just because a stove may be described as clean burning does not mean it is automatically approved for use in smoke control areas, which is why the smoke control website should be checked.

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