Smoke and odour pollution
Smoke Control Areas are designed to control emissions from domestic chimneys caused by the burning of coal and wood inside domestic dwellings. The Clean Air Acts of the 1950's gave local authorities power to declare all or part of the district to be a smoke control area. Within South Kesteven, parts of Grantham and Stamford are declared as smoke control areas. The district council is responsible for ensuring that the smoke control areas within the district are enforced. Smoke control legislation does not apply to garden bonfires. There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause, we do however discourage people from having garden bonfires which can cause serious nuisance to neighbouring properties. In these instances legal action may be taken. If you live in a smoke control area it is an offence to emit smoke from the chimney of a building. It is also an offence to acquire "unauthorised fuel" for use within a smoke control area unless it is for use in an "exempt appliance".
What is an authorised fuel?
The list of authorised fuels can be viewed at the Air Quality website, see useful web links.
Do I live in smoke control area?
See link to Smoke Control Area map. Areas covered in red are within a smoke control area.
How we can help
We can investigate complaints about both residential and commercial premises and need the following information:
· The address where the smoke is coming from and the name of the person responsible if you know it.
· How the smoke is affecting you.
· When and how often it occurs.
How will my complaint be dealt with?
If the smoke originates from a commercial premise and its is dark smoke, then immediate enforcement action may taken.
If the smoke is from a residential property, in the first instance we will write to the person causing the smoke problem and offer advice. Often people are not aware that they are causing a problem. However if the problem continues we ask you to complete a diary and return it to us. If the diary sheets are not returned we will assume that the warning letter has resolved your complaint and that no further action is required.
Once your record sheets have been returned the officer will contact you and discuss the case with you, setting out the method they will use to investigate your complaint.
What actions can we take?
The information you provide on the diary sheets will help the case officer to assess the smoke problem and decide what action can be taken.
We can take action if the smoke pollution is a nuisance in law (a "statutory nuisance"). We will assess the smoke to see if it is sufficient to be a nuisance.
We can then serve a notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring the smoke pollution to be stopped.
Please contact Environmental Protection Services if you require further information or you wish to make a complaint about smoke or odour nuisance.
Odour Pollution from commercial premises can be investigated as a statutory nuisance, similar to smoke investigations. Odour pollution includes agricultural land where "muck spreading" is occurring on a regular basis.