Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ Addthis

Smoke control area

Tower Hamlets is designated a Smoke Control Area under the Clean Air Act 1993.

This means that you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you’re burning an authorised fuel and/or using exempt appliances – for example, burners or stoves.

If you live in a Smoke Control Area you are committing an offence if you:

  •     allow smoke emissions from the chimney of a building;
  •     obtain and use solid fuel, other than authorised fuel;
  •     sell solid fuel, other than authorised fuel, for use in premises within a Smoke Control Area.


You could be fined up to £1,000 for committing the above offences.

Authorised fuels and exempt appliances

Authorised fuels are fuels that are authorised by Statutory Instruments (Regulations) made under the Clean Air Act 1993. These include inherently smokeless fuels such as gas, electricity and anthracite, together with specified brands of manufactured solid smokeless fuels. These fuels have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning in an open fireplace without producing smoke.

For the full list of authorised fuels visit the Defra website.

Exempt appliances are appliances (ovens, wood burners and stoves) that have been exempted by Statutory Instruments (Orders) under the Clean Air Act 1993.

For the full list of exempt appliances visit the Defra website.


Smoke control legislation does not apply to garden bonfires, we do however try to discourage people from having garden bonfires which can cause serious nuisance to neighbouring properties.

Find out more about smoke control regulations.