Smoke control areas

Service information

The Council administers and enforces the smoke control areas in Blackburn with Darwen.

Most of the urban areas within Blackburn with Darwen Borough are within the Smoke Control Area. This means that there are controls over the kind of solid fuels that can be burnt and the type of stove they can be burnt on.

We give advice on smokeless fuels and exempt appliances. We also respond to complaints by members of the public and may take action where smoke control area laws are broken.

Essentially, to comply with the law in a smoke control area you must either burn an “authorised fuel” or burn conventional fuel on an “exempt fireplace”.

Authorised fuels

“Smokeless” or “authorised fuels” are designed so that they burn with a minimum amount of smoke. You will find smokeless fuel on sale at many places in the borough, often alongside conventional fuels.

You are allowed to use a small quantity of clean dry kindling to start the fire but after this you must burn only authorised fuel. Smoke may still be produced but not on the same scale as with conventional fuels. Smokeless fuels are approved by DEFRA and a list of smokeless fuels can be found on the following link, please note, wood / timber or logs are not an authorised fuel.

Key facts

  • Any property built within a smoke control area regardless of when it was built has to comply with the requirements.
  • There is no such thing as a true smokeless fuel or appliance and you are also allowed to use a small quantity of clean dry kindling to start the fire. The law says smoke should be controlled, not completely eliminated. However, if the smoke is very thick and noticeable then there is a possibility that they are not complying with the regulations. Contact us to find out more.
  • You can be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 for breaking the rules of the smoke control area. The council will however attempt to educate residents and businesses before any legal action is taken.
  • Find out more about how you can comply with the smoke control area regulations


  • “Exempt fireplaces” or “Approved fireplaces” are appliances that are designed to burn certain conventional fuels whilst producing a minimum amount of smoke.
  • Most such appliances are only approved to burn certain fuels only e.g. logs and must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • They must not be used to burn fuels for which they were not designed to burn and using them in this way can damage the stove and produce pollution.
  • Exempt Fireplaces are approved every year by the government and each model approved has to go through a series of tests to ensure that levels of pollution emitted are not excessive.
  • Regardless of what the manufacture or seller says the fireplace or appliance must be approved by legal order by the secretary of state. If a fireplace or appliance is not on the list then it can not be used legally in a smoke control area. Check appliances online.

If you are using an approved woodburner in a smoke control area , of if you are burning wood outside the smoke control area then you should take a look at the Burn Right Campaign website for hints and tips about reducing pollution from the burning of wood on a stove.

The Blackburn with Darwen smoke control area

Areas of Blackburn with Darwen completely within the smoke control area

To act as a guide the following wards are completely within the smoke control area. If you live within the following wards then you must comply with the requirements of the smoke control area.

  • Audley and Queens Park
  • Bastwell and Daisyfield
  • Billinge and Beardwood
  • Blackburn Central
  • Ewood
  • Little Harwood and Whitebirk
  • Mill Hill and Moorgate
  • Roe Lee
  • Shear Brow and Corporation Park
  • Wensley Fold

Please note that it is difficult to locate exact addresses, although it should still help you decide if you may be within the smoke control area.

As a general rule most of the urban population centres of the borough are included in the smoke control area. If you are unsure please contact us.

Areas of Blackburn with Darwen partly within the smoke control area

The following wards are partly within the smoke control area:

  • Blackburn South and Lower Darwen
  • Blackburn South East
  • Darwen East
  • Darwen South
  • Darwen West
  • Livesey with Pleasington
  • West Pennine Ward

Please contact us to determine if you are in or out of the smoke control area.

Areas of Blackburn with Darwen exempted from the smoke control area

North Turton with Tockholes is completely excluded from the smoke control area.

If you are still uncertain if you are within the smoke control area then please contact us.​​​​​​​

Contact details

Mail Public Protection Service, White Dove Offices, Davyfiled Road, Blackburn. BB1 2LX
Phone Number(s) 01254 267699
Fax Number(s)  
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