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Wood Burning Stoves

Wood Burning Stoves

Wood Burning Stoves

The installation of wood burning stoves in domestic properties is becoming increasingly popular with residents across Clackmannanshire. If you are considering installing such an appliance, there are a number of points to consider;

  • What is the environmental impact of installing such a stove?;
  • Is your property within a Smoke Control Area?;
  • Could the wood burning stove cause a smoke and/or odour nuisance to your neighbours?;
  • Do you require planning permission for the installation of the appliance and its associated flue?;
  • Do you require a building warrant for the installation of the appliance?

It is becoming increasingly popular for domestic households to install alternative heat and power sources into their homes. With the resultant increase in the installation of solid fuel burning stoves and open fires it is important to consider the possible implications of burning solid fuel.

Environmental Impact

Most UK households use natural gas for home heating. Solid fuel, such as wood, can be a cost effective way of heating your home and providing hot water, particularly in rural areas where mains gas is not available. In recent years interest has grown in biomass heating (wood burning) as an environmentally friendly way of heating homes.

However, although wood as often regarded as a 'carbon neutral' fuel (the emissions of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere when the wood is burned are matched by the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbed when it was growing), emissions of other pollutants are often higher than an equivalent gas fired appliance. For example, emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5) can be higher, even when burnt in exempt appliances.

Clackmannanshire Council has a statutory duty to consider air quality within its area and therefore the potential localised cumulative effect of such exempt appliances that are installed.

If you live in a rural area, where the air is generally clean, and you don't have neighbours nearby, a wood fuelled system may be the environmentally friendly option. If you live in a built up area, where the air quality is likely to be poorer overall, you may have neighbours in close proximity and easy access to a mains gas supply, then mains gas is likely to be the most environmentally friendly choice of fuel.

Smoke Control Areas

Legislation was brought in some time ago to allow Local Authorities to create Smoke Control Areas to reduce emissions from domestic chimneys due to solid fuel (mainly coal) burning. Clackmannanshire has 2 designated Smoke Control Areas, one around the Claremont/Redwell area and the other is in Tullibody. Within such areas, it is an offence to use unauthorised fuel unless it is used in an exempt appliance.

So, can you install a wood burning stove if you are in a Smoke Control Area?

Yes, you can still install a wood burning or multi fuel stove if you are within a Smoke Control Area, but you must ensure that you install an exempt appliance and only burn the recommended, authorised fuel for that appliance. You will be committing an offence unless the fuel you are using is an approved, smokeless fuel, or your solid fuel appliance has been tested to ensure that it can burn ordinary fuels without creating smoke (i.e. it is an exempt appliance).

It should be noted that wood, wood chips and wood pellets are not authorised fuels and can therefore only be burnt in appliances which have been tested to ensure that they can burn ordinary fuels without creating smoke (i.e. exempt appliances). Exempt appliances are normally only approved to burn certain types of fuel, hence it is important that you only burn the correct fuel for your chosen appliance. Up to date information on authorised fuels and exempt appliances can be found on the DEFRA website

Potential nuisance from smoke and odour

Environmental Health continue to receive complaints regarding smoke and/or odour from wood burning stoves. This mainly occurs where the stove has been installed in a built up area, in close proximity to others properties/windows etc. It can also occur when inappropriate fuels are burned in the stove or when the appliance is not properly maintained.

Careful consideration should be given to the design and positioning of flues and chimneys and to the type of fuel you will be burning. You should try to minimise any potential smoke/odour nuisance from the use of your stove, on your neighbours.

Even if you install an exempt appliance and use only the recommended, authorised fuel, it is still possible, to cause a smoke and/or odour nuisance, if you fail to give due consideration to the position of the flue or chimney.

Planning and Building Standards implications

There may be planning implications with regard to the positioning and design of flues and chimneys associated with wood burning stoves, and you should contact the Development Quality (Planning) service for advice on the need for planning permission and any planning policy issues that may arise. Please contact Development Quality on 01259 450000 or email with details of the proposed installation.

In addition, there may be building standards implications, for some installations, with regard to the positioning and design of the appliance, hearth, flues and chimneys associated with wood burning stoves and in some circumstances, a Building Warrant may be required. It is therefore recommended that you contact Building Standards to discuss this further. Please telephone 01259 450000 or email

For Further Information Contact

Environmental Health
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000