Bristol residents who use wood stoves to heat their homes could face new fines of £300

People who use wood stoves to heat their homes in Bristol could soon face fines of up to £300 in a bid to reduce air pollution. Burning wood releases fine particulate matter that can cause serious health problems such as asthma, heart disease, strokes, and lung cancer.

Councils in England have been given new statutory powers to issue fines of between £175 and £300 to households who emit more than three grams of smoke per hour from chimneys. Bristol City Council is now preparing to start issuing these fines.

Council staff will issue written warnings to anyone caught emitting a lot of smoke, before handing out fines if smoke levels persist. The Cabinet is expected to approve the new implementation system during a plenary session on Tuesday, September 5.

Read more: “Think about banning wood burner sales,” says the co-leader of the Greens amid health concerns.

A cabinet report read: “Bristol City Council recognizes the fundamental right of every resident to breathe clean air. Emissions from a small number of solid fuel appliances, especially if they are operated in a way that does not comply with regulations, can raise pollution levels in the short term enough to directly affect the health of vulnerable individuals.

“Burning wood or coal pollutes the air inside and outside homes. The toxic particulates from burning harm the city’s residents and visitors. The Environment Act 2021 enables the local authority to issue a fine of between £175 and £300 if smoke is emitted.

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