Clean Air Act Approval

The Clean Air Act 1993, introduced a wide range of new regulations to control issues such as:

  • smoke emissions
  • the height of chimneys
  • the content and composition of motor fuels and vehicle emissions
  • bonfires

The height of chimneys

You need to have the height of your chimney approved by us if you propose installing equipment to burn certain fuel types or minimum volumes of matter.

You will need to submit details and calculations regarding the height of chimney(s) used to vent the emissions:

Please use our online clean air act approval application form or contact Environmental Health for more information.

We must consider an application and give a written decision within 28 days of receipt, unless it is agreed in writing between us and the applicant that a longer period is allowed. If we fail to deal with the application within this time period, then approval without qualification is given.

Unless the height of the chimney has been approved and any conditions adhered to, it is an offence to cause or knowingly permit a furnace to be used to:

  • burn pulverised fuel
  • burn at a rate of 45.4 kg or more an hour any other solid matter or
  • burn at a rate equivalent to 366.4 kW or more any liquid or gaseous matter

More information on the requirements relating to chimney heights is provided in ‘Chimney Heights’, Third Edition of the 1956 Clean Air Act Memorandum, available from The Stationery Office -


While bonfires are not illegal, a bonfire producing dark smoke (normally from burning plastics) can be dealt with under the Clean Air Act 1993. We can prosecute persistent offenders and can issue fines up to £20,000 for commercial burning.

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