Smoke control areas

Find out if you live in a smoke control area. Those who do must only burn authorised fuel from a domestic chimney or use an exempt appliance.

What is a smoke control area?

A smoke control area is an area in which you cannot produce a substantial amount of smoke from a chimney in any domestic building unless you burn authorised fuel, or use exempt appliances such as burners or stoves. 

Smoke control areas in North Yorkshire

There are currently no smoke control areas in the following regions: 

  • Hambleton 
  • Richmondshire 
  • Ryedale  
  • Scarborough  

To check if your property comes under a smoke control area in other parts of North Yorkshire please read the following relevant section for your local area:

Smoke control areas in the Craven area

The majority of Skipton and parts of the South Craven area, such as Sutton and Crosshills, are classed as smoke control areas.

Check if your property falls under a smoke control area using the following maps: 

If you have a query about smoke control areas please contact us.

Smoke control areas in the Harrogate area

Smoke control areas cover the majority of Harrogate and a small area of Tockwith. To check if your property falls under this control area go to the in my area section and tick the smoke control areas box on the interactive map. 

There are no smoke control areas in the following towns or their surrounding villages: 

  • Boroughbridge 
  • Knaresborough 
  • Masham 
  • Pateley Bridge 
  • Ripon 

What you can burn in a smoke control area

You can only burn fuel on the list of authorised fuels published by DEFRA, or any of the following ‘smokeless’ fuels: 

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

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you burn unauthorised fuel in a smoke control area.  

Some fireplaces are exempt because they can burn other types of fuel without producing large amounts of smoke and emissions. Visit the DEFRA website to view the list of appliances that are exempt. 

For further information on open fires and wood burning stoves read DEFRA’s practical guide.

Sale of firewood and domestic coal

The Government introduced regulations from 1 May 2021 for the sale of domestic fuel in England to improve air quality - this included: 

  • mandatory certification and labelling requirements for manufactured solid fuels and dry wood sold in volumes under 2mᶾ  
  • providing advisory information to customers for sales of wood fuel in volumes of 2mᶾ or more 
  • ban on the sale of bituminous (house) coal 

Businesses who supply non-compliant fuels are committing a criminal offence and can be fined or face prosecution.  

Retailers wanting advice can contact our Trading Standards team.

If you have a concern about non-compliant fuel sales, please contact Citizens Advice.

Outdoor appliances

Smoke control areas deal with smoke from buildings and not from burning in the open, so you can use outdoor: 

  • barbecues 
  • chimineas 
  • fireplaces 
  • pizza ovens 

Any of these appliances however that release smoke through a chimney in a building, such as a summerhouse, can only burn authorised fuel or be an exempt appliance.

Garden bonfires

You are allowed to have garden bonfires in smoke control areas but there are certain rules you must follow. For further details please visit our bonfires page

Further information

If you live in a smoke control area further information is available from DEFRA’s Do you know the rules? guidance