Clean Air Act Approval

To protect against high concentrations of air pollutants at ground level, which could create health effects, the Clean Air Act 1993 allows Local Authorities to control the height of chimneys serving industrial processes.

The theory behind this is to ensure that emissions from chimneys exit at high levels to aid dispersion and dilution and limit the process of gravity from bringing high concentrations of grit, dust, soot and gases down to ground level.

Applications for chimney height approval always contain technical data and calculations to support the overall height applied for and Local Authorities will ensure that information is correct before granting an approval. The Local Authority may also attach conditions to approvals.

Sections 14 - 16 of the Clean Air Act cover chimney height approval. In addition provisions are also contained within legislation dealing with prescribed processes under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000 and the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007; details of these processes in the Borough can be found under Industrial Air Pollution.


Clean Air Act 1993


You can download a form for printing.


There is no fee for the application.

Does Tacit Consent apply?

We will consider the application and give a written decision within 28 days of its receipt, unless it's 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.

Application Evaluation Process

The 1956 Clean Air Act Memorandum on Chimney Heights and The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Technical Guidance Note (Dispersion) D1, provide advice and guidance when determining the heights of discharge stacks for polluting emissions.

 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

Right of Appeal

You can appeal against a decision not to approve a chimney height. Appeals should be made to the Secretary of State within 28 days of receipt of notification that the application has not been approved.

Other Useful Organisations

Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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