Smoke control areas

Details of our smoke controlled areas

We administer and enforce the smoke control areas in Blackburn with Darwen.

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.

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 are allowed to use a small quantity of clean dry kindling to start the fire but after this you must only burn authorised fuel.

Smoke may still be produced but not on the same scale as with conventional fuels.

Smokeless fuels approved by the Department for Environmnet, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Please note wood, timber and logs are not authorised fuel.

Areas of Blackburn with Darwen completely within the smoke control area

If you live within one of these listed wards 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 see the electoral ward maps information for maps of these areas.

You can also search for Smoke Control areas on this map

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 by emailing 

Areas of Blackburn with Darwen partly within the smoke control area

These 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

If you are still uncertain and need help to determine if you are in or out of the smoke control area email 

Key facts and exemptions

Key facts on what you can burn in smoke control areas:

  • 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. The law says smoke should be controlled, not completely eliminated. There is a possibility that it is not compliant with the regulations if the smoke is very thick and noticeable
  • you can be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 for breaking the rules of the smoke control area. We will attempt to educate residents and businesses before taking any legal action

Further information about how you can comply with the smoke control area regulations can be found on the GOV.UK website


  • exempt or approved fireplaces are designed to burn certain conventional fuels while producing a minimum amount of smoke
  • most of these appliances are only approved to burn certain fuels such as logs and must be used under the manufacturer's instructions
  • they must not be used to burn fuels for which they were not designed to burn, using them in this way can damage the stove and produce pollution
  • exempt fireplaces are approved every year by the government. 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 DEFRA exempt list then it legally can not be used in a smoke control area

The Burn Right campaign website contains hints and tips about reducing pollution from the burning of wood on a stove. These are helpful if you are using an approved woodburner in a smoke control area or if you are burning wood outside the smoke control area.