There are a number of areas within the UK in which the local authority restricts the burning of fuel in a stove or fireplace that emits smoke. These areas are called Smoke Control Zones. You are able to burn smokeless fuels such as anthracite on a multi-fuel stove, but not wood.
Smoke control areas tend to be in larger cities, however if you are unsure, you should contact your local authority, who can tell you if you are in a smoke control zone and will have details of permitted fuels and appliances. Alternatively you can Click here for a list of Smoke Control Areas.
There are a number of wood burning stoves and multi-fuel stoves that are permitted for burning wood within a smoke control area, due to their low emissions. These are stoves that have been approved by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as suitable for burning wood in a smoke control zone.
Smoke Control Areas
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.
Authorised fuels are fuels which are authorised by Statutory Instruments (Regulations) made under the Clean Air Act 1993 or Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. 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.