Smoke Control Area Expansion

Closed 31 Jan 2024

Opened 4 Dec 2023

Feedback updated 27 Feb 2024

We asked

An online public consultation was conducted by Oxford City Council over an 8-week period, running from December 4th, 2023, to January 31st, 2024. The consultation aimed to gather feedback from residents regarding the council's proposal to revoke the existing 23 Smoke Control Areas in Oxford and replace them with a single Smoke Control Area covering the entire administrative area of the city.

The consultation comprised a series of questions aimed at gauging residents' opinions and experiences related to smoke control measures and their impact. Questions covered topics such as residency within the city, existing exposure to smoke control areas, personal experiences with smoke nuisance, types of heating appliances used at home, awareness of health impacts from wood burning, familiarity with council awareness campaigns, and agreement with the proposed expansion of Smoke Control Area legislation.

You said

Based on the responses received during the consultation, several key findings and concerns were identified:

  • Most respondents expressed support for expanding Smoke Control Area legislation, although some were unsure or had reservations.
  • Concerns were raised regarding the potential impact on vulnerable populations and the need for adequate compensation.
  • Comments highlighted broader concerns about air quality, enforcement measures, awareness raising, and inclusion of boating communities.
  • Residents emphasised the importance of ongoing communication and education on smoke control issues.
  • Some expressed concerns about potential unintended consequences, such as a shift to non-sustainable fuels or insufficient time for appliance changes.
  • Respondents noted that urban bonfires were a source of smoke and nuisance.

We did

These insights informed the council's decision-making process and future actions regarding the proposed expansion of Smoke Control Area legislation in Oxford.


Read more on our Smoke Control Areas


Smoke Control Areas (SCAs) are designated areas of the city of Oxford where it is currently an offence:

  • to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a chimney serving the furnace of any fixed boiler or industrial plant;
  • for anyone to sell by retail, unauthorised fuel within the area covered by the SCA.

There are currently 23 SCAs in the city of Oxford, declared during the period 1958-1986. These currently cover around 48% of the city.

This consultation aims at getting the views of residents, businesses, and stakeholders on Oxford City Council’s current plans to revoke all Oxford’s existing 23 Smoke Control Orders currently covering a large part of the city, and to replace them with a new single Order declaring the whole of the city a Smoke Control Area.

The main objective of this proposal is to reduce the risk of harmful fine particulate (PM2.5) emissions to human health, from uncontrolled burning of solid fuels from open fireplaces, non-approved stoves and indoor burners in Oxford.

Electronic copies of the draft Smoke Control Order, Consultation booklet and Notice are available for review below.

We would like to hear from you. What do you think about these proposals? Please complete the online survey by the 31st January 2024 (23h59).


  • Anyone from any background


  • Environmental Health
  • Air Quality