Hackney Smoke Control Order 2024

Closed 5 Jul 2024

Opened 19 Apr 2024


Hackney Council is proposing a new Smoke Control Order to help reduce harmful pollution from burning solid fuels, such as wood and coal. This would replace the 27 existing orders and cover the whole borough, including waterways.

Within this Smoke Control Area you would only be able to burn authorised fuel (also known as “smokeless” wood or coal), unless you have an appliance or stove that has been approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

For a list of authorised/certified fuels in England, click here.

What is a Smoke Control Area (SCA)?

  • It’s an area designated by the Council to reduce pollution from burning wood and coal.

  • Within an SCA, it is not permitted to:

    • Burn wood or logs (unless the fuel is authorised for use, a “smokeless” fuel, or it is burned in an “exempt appliance”, approved by DEFRA).

    • Release “substantial” smoke from a chimney.

What changes are the Council proposing to make to its Smoke Control Areas?

The proposal in Hackney is to:

  • Merge the existing 27 Smoke Control Orders into one single Smoke Control Order for the entire borough, and

  • Amend the Smoke Control Order to extend the regulations to include moored vessels (canal boats).

Do I live in a Smoke Control Area?

  • It is very likely that you live in an area that is already covered by a smoke control order. Currently, there are 27 Smoke Control Areas in place in Hackney.

  • The proposed order will cover the entire borough including the waterways, which are not currently included.

Why are these changes being proposed?

  • To make it clearer and easier to understand the area that is covered.

  • To improve air quality around the waterways by extending the requirements to households and moored vessels. 

  • To allow for efficient enforcement of regulations to tackle harmful emissions. 

What happens if I break the rules in a Smoke Control Area?

  • In England, you may have to pay a penalty of up to £300 if your chimney releases substantial smoke in a Smoke Control Area.

  • You can be fined up to £1,000 if you buy unauthorised fuel to use in an appliance that’s not approved by DEFRA.

How would the changes affect residents?

  • For most residents, the changes would not require any action to be taken. 

  • Residents would benefit from cleaner air quality.

  • If you moor a vessel on the borough’s waterways, you may be affected. You may need to change the way you heat your vessel as under the proposed order you will only be allowed to use an approved stove for heating, or burn authorised fuel. The changes do not affect the fuel used for powering the boat’s movement.

What can I do if my current stove is not DEFRA-approved?

  • You would only be allowed to use it with authorised fuel. You will need to ensure that the fuel used carries the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo and that the appliance and flue are well-maintained.

  • For boaters with a permanent mooring on Hackney’s waterways who are moored on the day the changes come into force, you may qualify for funding amounting to 70% of the costs of installing a compliant burner. 

  • For continuous cruisers who face financial hardship as a result of the changes, there may be other sources of support that the Council can provide. Please contact landwaterair@hackney.gov.uk for more information.

How can I find out more about the changes?

How can I share my comments or objections?

Any person may object to or make comments on the new proposal by filling out the online survey on this page. Please click on 'Online survey' at the end of this page to access the survey.

You can also send your comments and objections by email to: landwaterair@hackney.gov.uk

Or write to:

Land, Water, Air Team, Climate Homes & Economy

Hackney Council, Hackney Service Centre, 

1 Hillman Street, 

London E8 1DY

All comments and objections should be clearly headed ‘Feedback on creation of new Smoke Control Order 2024 in Hackney’.

The closing date for comments and objections is Friday 5 July 2024.


If you have any objections to the revocation of the previous Smoke Control Orders, you can email: Air.Quality@defra.gov.uk

Or write to:

Air Quality and Industrial Emissions, DEFRA

Seacole Building

2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF

All objections should be clearly headed ‘Objection to revocation of Smoke Control Orders in the London Borough of Hackney'.

The closing date for objections is Friday 5 July 2024.

When would the changes to Smoke Control Areas be made?

  • The changes will only be made once approved by the Secretary of State. 

  • If approved, the changes will become effective six months after the decision date. This would be in Spring 2025. 


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Understanding views
  • Pollution
  • Sustainability