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All of the Borough of Dudley is within a smoke control area therefore all combustion appliances must burn either a smokeless fuel or the appliance itself must be an exempt appliance as defined by the Clean Air Act 1993. More information on smoke control legislation can be found on our Smoke Control Order Enforcement webpage.


At whatever height smoke and flue gases are discharged, gravity will eventually bring the larger particles of grit, dust and soot to the ground. The higher the point of discharge and the greater the total heat content of the discharges gases, the more widespread and diluted will be the fine particles and gases by the time they reach ground level.

Controlling chimney height

Through the provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993 local authorities can take into account a number of relevant factors in determining the most appropriate height of a chimney. These include the need to avoid downdraught or downwash created by the chimney itself, or by buildings or topographical features; to avoid the ground level concentration of combustion products becoming prejudicial to health or a nuisance.


Under section 14 of the Act, unless the height of the chimney has been approved by the local authority and any conditions attached to approval adhered to, it is an offence to cause or knowingly permit a furnace to be used to:

  • burn pulverised fuel;

  • burn at a rate of 45.5 kg or more an hour any other solid matter, or

  • burn at a rate equivalent to 366.4 kilowatts or more any liquid or gaseous matter

How much does it cost?

Application for approval is free of charge.

Application for chimney height approval

If you are intending to carry out one of the following activities, and one or more of the requirements listed above is met, you will need to seek approval for the chimney or flue:

  • Construct a new chimney

  • Increase the combustion space of an existing furnace

  • Add a new furnace to an existing installation

  • Change the fuel burnt in an existing furnace

  • Replace a furnace with one having a larger combustion space

How can I apply?

You can apply by any of the following means:

  • Using the online form

  • Downloading an application form.  Send us a completed and signed application form together with a cheque for the correct amount or bringing it to us in person at our offices.

  • Contacting us in writing, telephone or email. Please use the contact forms below to request an application form.

Please note your application must contain adequate information to enable the necessary calculations to be carried out.

Approval Process

We will consider the application and give a written decision within 28 days of its receipt, unless it is agreed in writing that a longer period may be allowed. If we fail to deal with the application within the agreed period, then approval without qualification will be deemed to have been given.


We cannot approve the proposed chimney height unless we are satisfied that it will be sufficient to prevent, so far as is practicable, the smoke, grit, dust, gases or fumes emitted from the chimney from becoming prejudicial to health or a nuisance, having regard to:

  • the purpose of the chimney

  • the position and descriptions of buildings near to it

  • the levels of the neighbouring ground

  • any other matters requiring consideration in the circumstances

Control of Dirt and Grit from Furnaces

The Clean Air Act 1993 in addition to chimney height approval requires, subject to certain exemptions, that furnaces with a heating capacity greater that 16.12 kilowatts are to be provided with plant for arresting grit and dust as approved by the Local Authority. If your appliance has a capacity greater than 16.12 kilowatts you may be asked for further information to satisfy these criteria.

Making a complaint

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

Contact Details

Environmental Safety and Health People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ

Telephone 0300 555 2345 Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, offices closed at weekends and Bank Holidays

General Advice and Complaints Form