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Smoke, bonfires and solid fuel appliances

We investigate complaints about chimney smoke and bonfires.

Find out about:

Smoke control areas

Chesterfield is a smoke control area - this means that you can’t emit smoke from a chimney in a building unless you’re burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance (such as an approved log burner or multi-fuel stove).

There are separate rules that apply to bonfires and other outdoor fires.

The smoke control area rules apply to all premises, including people's homes, businesses, hospitals and residential homes.

Chimneys could be from traditional open fireplaces, but also from appliances such as solid fuel stoves, furnaces and boilers. 

Authorised fuels and exempt appliances

Unless you are using an 'exempt appliance', you can only use a DEFRA authorised fuel or one of the following smokeless fuels:

  • anthracite or semi-anthracite
  • low volatile steam coal
  • gas

DEFRA also has a list of appliances (such as boilers, stoves and burners) that are 'exempt' from the restrictions, but this is only when they are used with the specified fuels and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Paper, firelighters or sticks can be used to start a domestic fire - find out more here.


Outdoor ovens, fires and barbecues

The smoke control area regulates smoke from chimneys.

You can use an outdoor barbecue, chiminea, fireplace or pizza oven as long as it doesn't release smoke through a chimney of a building (such as a summer house). If it does then the smoke control area rules above will apply.

However, you could be committing an offence if you create smoke in your garden that bothers your neighbours and causes a statutory nuisance.


Complain about smoke

Find out what you can do about a smoke problem.


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We deal with smoke nuisance under the Clean Air Act 1993 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.


Last updated on 23 July 2020