The vast majority of the Stockport Council area is a designated Smoke Control Area.
The whole of Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Bramhall, Offerton, Davenport, Woodsmoor, Heaviley, Great Moor, Offerton, Bredbury, Woodley, the Heatons, Adswood, Reddish, Heaviley, Woodley, Hazel Grove and High Lane are so-called ‘smokeless areas’.
That means that if you have an open fire in these areas, you can only, by law, burn approved smokeless coal on the fire. Similarly, you are restricted to approved smokeless coal if your multi fuel stove is not a ‘Defra-exempt’ stove.
The only way you can burn wood in these areas is if your stove is a ‘Defra-exempt’ appliance. Generally, these are newer stoves but if you are in doubt, please consult your chimney sweep.
However, parts of Stockport, such as Romiley, Marple, Mellor and Compstall, have no restrictions at all. That means that legally you can burn wood, housecoal or smokeless coal on any relevant solid fuel appliance.
It really does pay to find out whether there are any restrictions in your area. Stockport Council tells me that, between 2009 and 2018, they received over 300 enquiries relating to smoke from domestic and commercial chimneys. Some of those were complaints under the Clean Air Act 1993, however, none resulted in prosecutions.
Nevertheless, should you be in breach of the Act you can be fined up to £1,000. It’s not worth it – stay on the right side of the law by burning only the correct fuels for your appliance and area.
To check if you’re ‘in the zone’, visit https://www.stockport.gov.uk/smoke/smoke-control-areas
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a co-founder of Burnright, a DEFRA-backed campaign which aims to educate solid fuel users on how to get the best out of their appliance while doing their bit for the environment. He’s also a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service. Book Mr Soot online or call 07724 311 992.
PS – There’s some things you should NEVER burn in your fireplace, regardless of where you are. Check out my video here…