Smoke Control

Smoke/fire burning from fields

Poor air quality is an issue of national significance as a public health issue, as it contributes to the development of numerous diseases including cancer, heart disease and asthma; children, the elderly and those with respiratory issues are particularly at risk. 28,000 to 36,000 deaths per year are attributed to long term exposure to air pollution.

Smoke from chimneys contains particulate matter, which when breathed in can irritate and corrode the lungs.

Cannock Chase Council is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the local community - improving local air quality is one way in which we are working to achieve this goal.


The Clean Air Act 1993 gives local authorities the power to make a ‘smoke control order’; properties falling under such an order are subject to restrictions on the emission of smoke from chimneys attached to buildings.

The Clean Air Act 1993 was amended by the Environment Act 2021; this fundamentally changed how smoke control orders work and how the rules are enforced by local authorities. 

Under the amended restrictions, it is unlawful to emit smoke from a property that falls under a smoke control order. Officers of the council can issue a financial penalty of between £175 and £300 where they witness the emission of a ‘significant quantity of smoke from a chimney’, regardless of the appliance being used or the type of fuel burned. Wood, timber or logs will need to be used in a DEFRA approved stove or smokeless fuel should be used.

As well as a change to how smoke control orders work, there has been a change to their scope. Local authorities now have the discretion to extend the scope of their smoke control orders so that their restrictions include moored vessels (i.e. canal boats, although smoke emissions are allowed from fuel used by an engine to move or provide electric power to the vessel).

Existing Smoke Control Orders

Between 1988 and 1998, Cannock Chase Council made fifteen smoke control orders under the Clean Air Act 1993; these orders cover the entire district, but the restrictions on smoke only apply to buildings or furnaces with chimneys.

Proposed Changes

Cannock Chase Council is considering revoking the existing smoke control orders and replacing them with a new smoke control order, which will cover the entire district. The proposed smoke control order will:

•    Bring simplicity - one smoke control order will apply to the entire district.

•    Bring moored vessels within the scope of the smoke control order. Vessels that moor on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley and the Cannock Extension Canal at Norton Canes will need to comply with the smoke control order rules.


This Consultation Closed on 31st March 2023.

A copy of the draft smoke control order can be viewed at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions or would like a paper copy please call 01543 462621.

Contact Environmental Health

Telephone 01543 462621 or email

Last Updated:

A to Z of Services