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Smoke control areas

A smoke control area is an area declared by the Local Authority in terms of the Clean Air Act 1993 in which smoke must not be emitted from any chimney of any building.

The reason that smoke control areas were necessary was due to poor local air quality from smoke and sulphur dioxide mainly emitted from coal fires.

Our smoke control programme ran from 1981 until 1993 and dramatically improved local air quality. During that period, Environmental Health approved grants and oversaw the replacement of thousands of coal fires in both the public and private sectors.

The smoke control areas are:

  • Dalry
  • Kilbirnie
  • Glengarnock
  • Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston and Kilwinning    

You can view a map of smoke control areas (PDF, 5.52mb).

What fuels are permitted?

The following authorised fuels may be used for heating in a smoke control area:

  • gas
  • electricity
  • anthracite
  • low volatile steam coals
  • certain proprietary solid smokeless fuels

For a current list of approved solid fuel products and services, please contact the Solid Fuel Association on 0845 6014406.


Certain heating systems are exempt. For example, oil-fired central-heating systems and certain solid fuel room heaters which appear on a list of statutory exempt appliances

It is permissible to burn garden rubbish in a designated Smoke Control Area, but you should not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. We would encourage everybody to dispose of their garden rubbish in a sustainable way.

Consequence of non-compliance

Any person who causes the emission of smoke from any chimney within a smoke control area may be guilty of an offence unless it can be demonstrated that the smoke emission was due to the burning of an authorised fuel or from the use of an exempted fireplace.

Environmental Health are required to investigate all complaints and will issue a warning in the first instance but continued failure to comply may lead to a report being sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Wood burning stoves and open fires

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) offers guidance on:

Contact Environmental Health




01294 324339


North Ayrshire Council, Housing & Public Protection, Environmental Health, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE