Clean air legislation was first introduced into Northern Ireland to deal with smog and the high level of smoke in our towns and cities. Recent years have seen a dramatic improvement in urban air quality and Smoke Control now forms a key part of the Local Air Quality Management system which is aimed at achieving air quality objectives.
Smoke control areas are designed to control emissions from domestic and commercial chimneys caused by the burning of coal and wood. The statutory powers for these controls are provided under the Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.
If you live in a smoke control area it is an offence under the Clean Air Order to emit smoke from a chimney as a result of burning an unauthorised fuel or to use an appliance which is not specifically exempted.
In smoke control areas, residents are required to use “authorised” smokeless fuels or install an “exempted” fireplace. For a fuel to be an “authorised” smokeless fuel it must be tested to show that it produces less smoke than ordinary fuels, when it is burned. An “exempted” fireplace is an appliance such as a stove, heater or boiler which has been tested to show that it can be used for burning fuel, other than authorised fuels without producing any smoke or a substantial quantity of smoke.
Smoke control does not apply to the lighting of bonfires.
Is my house in a smoke control area?
Some areas within Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council are within smoke control areas. This includes large parts of Castlereagh and Dundonald. Lisburn City and rural areas are not included in the smoke control area.
To find out if an area within Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is included in a smoke control area please use our interactive map.
Is my fireplace exempted? Is my fuel authorised?
Fuels and fireplaces which have been successfully tested are put into Regulations by the Department of the Environment. These can be viewed on the sections listing the specific Exempted Fireplaces and Authorised Fuels for Northern Ireland on the DEFRA web-site (see the list of useful links below) and can be used within Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's smoke control area.
For further information on smoke control contact:
Environmental Health Service Unit,
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council,
Lagan Valley Island,
Tel: 028 9244 7397