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Environmental Protection Act - Clean Air Act Approval

The Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act was passed in 1956 with the aim to reduce pollution from smoke. The current Clean Air Act was implemented in 1993 and introduced a wide range of new regulations such as those which control smoke emissions and the height of chimneys.

It is an offence to cause or permit the emission of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises including bonfires.

These are intended to control pollution in areas where the predominant fuel used for domestic heating is coal. In these areas it is an offence for the occupier of a building to allow smoke emission from a chimney unless it is produced by an 'authorised fuel'.  There are currently no smoke control areas in Cornwall.

When a new heating appliance is to be installed, in some circumstances, it is necessary to obtain approval for the height of the chimney to be used in conjunction with the appliance.

The Clean Air Act 1993 makes it an offence to cause or knowingly permit a furnace to be used to:

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

Unless the height of the chimney has been approved by the Council and any conditions attached to approval adhered to.

In order to apply for a chimney height approval you must complete an application form and submit this to the Council's Environmental Protection section. The application for chimney height approval must contain adequate information to enable the necessary calculations to be carried out.

The Council will aim to give a written decision on the application within 28 days of it's receipt, unless it is agreed in writing between us and the applicant that a longer period is allowed.

For more information on clean air and chimney heights please contact us by using the contact details on this page