Newcastle skyline

Air quality improvement work in Newcastle

The entire city of Newcastle is to become a Smoke Control Area, as the council plans to improve air quality and health outcomes.

Smoke Control Areas (SCA) were first introduced in 1958 and help to reduce the amount of harmful smoke that is emitted from domestic and commercial building chimneys. This is done by stopping people from burning high-polluting fuels, by only using fuels that are authorised or using appliances that are government approved, such as some boilers and stoves.

There are currently 72 SCAs in place across Newcastle, covering the majority of the city, however the City Council’s Cabinet has approved plans that will see the existing SCAs replaced by a single order that will cover the entire city.

Newcastle SCA Quote

Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for a Dynamic City, Cllr Irim Ali, said:

“We are committed to creating, greener neighbourhoods and improving air quality is an important part of that.

“We know that poor air quality can have a damaging effect on people’s health as it increases the risk of conditions such as respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as severely affecting those who are already ill.

“It has been over 60 years since SCAs were first introduced in Newcastle and since then the city has changed a lot. It’s undergone boundary changes; the population has grown, and many areas have been redeveloped.

“It’s important we now have a SCA that covers the entire city, which will help improve air quality, protect our residents and clean up the environment.”

A list of appliances that can be used can be found on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website, whilst fuels that can be burnt will have a “Ready to Burn” logo. Anybody that is found to be releasing smoke will face a £300 fine, however a fine of up to £1,000 could be faced by anybody that is found buying or selling unauthorised fuel in a Smoke Control Area.

The plans to introduce a city-wide SCA in Newcastle is subject to approval by the Secretary of State.


Image credit: iStock

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