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Environmental Health

Air quality

Information on burning in smoke control areas and garden bonfires.

Environmental Health monitors air pollution levels at 23 locations across East Renfrewshire. We carry out regular reviews of air quality and identify any areas where pollutant levels might exceed national objectives. If levels of pollutants are found to exceed the National Air Quality Strategy objectives, we will develop an action plan for the reduction of emissions.

Smoke Control Areas

The former Enforce District Council areas of Barrhead, Neilston and Uplawmoor are designated as a Smoke Control Area. Smoke Control Areas were introduced by legislation in the 1950s and 1960s as a result of the heavy smog which affected many parts of the country.

Within a Smoke Control Area it is an offence to cause the emission of smoke or burn any "unauthorised" fuel. This applies to residential properties, as well as commercial/industrial operations. Any fuel being used in a Smoke Control Area must be specifically authorised for use, unless it is being used in an "exempt" appliance i.e. one which has been proved to be capable of burning fuels without emitting smoke. Authorised fuels and exempt appliances are specified within Statutory Instruments made by the Government. This includes wood-burning stoves and similar appliances.

For more  information on authorised fuels and exempt appliances go to:


Bonfires are permitted in East Renfrewshire, but only if they do not cause a nuisance or in the case of industrial or trade premises do not emit dark smoke. Find out how to report a bonfire and read useful guidance on burning material outdoors at:

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