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Cambridge City Council

Council to enforce Smoke Control Area rules with new policy

11 October 2023

The Cambridge City Council Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday 5 October, approved the adoption of a new council policy to enforce smoke control rules within its Smoke Control Areas (SCAs).

There are currently three SCAs in Cambridge which cover the west and the centre of the city. Those responsible for buildings with chimneys in these areas must either burn authorised fuel or use a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) approved appliance.

The new Enforcement and Fee Policy is in line with available powers contained within Schedule 1A of the Clean Air Act 1993 (as amended by the Environment Act 2021).

The council will continue to offer advice to residents and businesses in SCAs on what they can do to comply with the rules. This is in line with the councils current Corporate Enforcement Policy.

If the council becomes aware that unauthorised fuel or appliances are being used within that area, they will investigate and issue a written warning where necessary. If a resident or business continue to breach smoke control rules, the council policy will allow the council to:

  • Issue a notice of intent to the person(s) responsible
  • Issue a final notice with a financial penalty ranging from between £175 - £300.

When determining a financial penalty, the council will use a fee matrix as a guide to determine appropriate and proportionate penalty.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Action and Environment, said: “Smoke pollution is damaging for the environment and for public health – by introducing this new policy we will better be able to tackle this issue.

“Whilst our primary focus is on preventing instances of smoke pollution from happening, which we do by educating residents and businesses, there are still instances in which some still go on to breach the rules of the Smoke Control Area.

“Smoke pollution contributes to the worsening of air quality in the city which is why we have Smoke Control Areas. We hope that residents and businesses will continue to work with us to prevent this whether it be through using approved appliances and fuels or by reporting instances of smoke pollution to us.”

Smoke pollution can be reported on our website.