Under the Clean Air Act local authorities may declare the whole or part of the district of the authority to be a smoke control area. It is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area. It is also an offence to acquire an “unauthorised fuel” for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an “exempt” appliance (“exempted” from the controls which generally apply in the smoke control area). The current maximum level of fine is £1,000 for each offence.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has powers under the Act to authorise smokeless fuels or exempt appliances for use in smoke control areas in England. In Scotland and Wales this power rests with Ministers in the devolved administrations for those countries. Separate legislation, the Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, applies in Northern Ireland. Therefore it is a requirement that fuels burnt or obtained for use in smoke control areas have been “unauthorised” in Regulations and that appliances used to burn solid fuel in those areas (other than “unauthorised” fuels) have been exempted by an Order made and signed by the Secretary of State or Minister in the devolved administrations.
Your local authority is responsible for enforcing the legislation in smoke control areas and you can contact them for details of any smoke control areas in their area. They should also have details of the fuels and appliances which may be used.