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Air quality

Air Quality is a priority for Chorley. Good air quality is important to maintain and improve health, wellbeing and the environment. Poor air quality contributes to both mortality and ill health, this has a financial impact on society as well as a damaging environmental impact. 

Air Quality Reports

The main pollutants of concern in Chorley are Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM). Air quality is monitored by the Environmental Health Team, using a network of passive diffusion tubes at strategic locations across the Borough. We are also trialling continuous particulate monitors to improve the monitoring programme. Our approach to air quality is outlined in our Clean Air Strategy 2022 (Word doc) [2MB] .

The good news is that the monitoring and modelling data that has been collected and analysed shows that the air quality across Chorley is compliant with the current National Air Quality Objectives. 

The legislative framework for meeting our Air Quality objectives is laid down under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. More recent documents, such as the Road to Zero and The Clean Air Strategy have provided insight into the government's future plans for both climate change and air quality. The Environment Act 2021 has updated the legislation around air quality and includes new responsibilities for local authorities.

We produce an Annual Status Report (ASR) which is submitted to DEFRA each year for approval. This report provides an annual update on air pollution monitoring results and trends in Chorley, updating on the progress of measures being implemented to improve air quality not just by us, but also partners and outside agencies. 

Read our latest report and the previous years' reports below:

2022 Annual Status Report (ASR) (PDF) [1MB]

2021 Annual Status Report (ASR) (PDF) [1MB]

2020 Annual Status Report (ASR) (PDF) [1MB]

2019 Annual Status Report (ASR) (PDF) [1MB]

For queries on Air Quality please contact Environmental Health by email to


Solid fuel burning appliances such as wood stoves and coal fires contribute to particulate matter and other pollutant emissions.

Stove and fire smoke contains tiny particles known as particulate matter (PM2.5). According to the Government's 2019 Clean Air Strategy, domestic solid fuel is responsible for 38% of PM2.5 pollution in the UK

This pollutant can cause breathing difficulties, such as asthma attacks, and contributes to other health conditions including heart disease and stroke. People already suffering from lung and heart problems are more likely to be affected, along with older people, pregnant women and their unborn babies, and very young children.

If you use a log burner or stove at home there are things you can do to ensure you are using it as efficiently as possible. It could mean you end up burning less and saving money, without affecting the heat output:

  • Install a Carbon Monoxide detector. 
  • Burn dry, seasoned wood. Avoid burning plastics or treated waste wood.
  • Store your wood in a dry and well ventilated area. 
  • Sweep your chimney regularly. A professional sweep can also advise you on using your appliance. 
  • Contact your stove manufacturer or installer for bespoke operating advice. 
  • If you have an older or inefficient stove or one that's too big, consider replacing it with a modern efficient model. 
  • You can find lots more information on the Burn right website.

Restrictions on the sale of firewood, manufactured solid fuels and coal sold for combustion in domestic premises

The sale of traditional house coal and bags of 'wet' or 'unseasoned' wood is now banned in the UK. Check for the government-approved 'Ready To Burn' logo when buying small bags of firewood and solid fuel briquettes. This means it has a low moisture content, so it burns more efficiently with less harmful smoke and air pollution. It is also better for stoves, fireplaces and chimneys as well as reducing fuel and maintenance costs.

The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 place restrictions on fuel sold for combustion in domestic premises from 01 May 2021:

  • Firewood sold in units of less than 2 cubic metres must be certified by the 'Ready To Burn' and the certification details and scheme logo must be attached to the packaging and clearly displayed at the point of sale.
  • If firewood is sold in units of more than 2 cubic metres, customers must be provided with a notice that explains how to dry, store and check the moisture of the wood before it is used.
  • All manufactured solid fuels must be certified by the Ready To Burn Scheme. Fuels that are exempt from these certification requirements are coffee logs, olive logs, wine logs and fuels mostly made of wheat husks, straw, miscanthus, bamboo or compressed food waste.
  • Only Approved Coal Merchants can legally sell traditional house coal (also known as bituminous coal) in England from 1 May 2021 up to 30 April 2023. It must be sold loose or in unsealed bags directly to the customer. It will be illegal to sell bagged coal.

Further information is available from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Ready To Burn consumer leaflet

Retailers can download our  Ready to Burn Flier (PDF) [98KB] for more information.

Smoke Control Areas

To protect air quality and the health of residents, some areas of Chorley have been designated smoke control areas. For more information, please see the section on Noise, nuisance and environmental complaints.


Please note that if you have a issue, now, which involves smoke from bonfires, chimneys, construction and demolition sites; emissions of dust / gases from industrial or commercial property, which effect you and your home, you can make a complaint.

View more information on how to make a noise and nuisance complaint.

Planning and the Local Plan

We request air quality assessments for planning applications where the development may impact on air quality or where the development is close to an existing source of air pollution and may require mitigation measures as part of the planning conditions.

A key action for us and the neighbouring local authorities of Preston City Council and South Ribble Borough Council is the revision and updating of the Central Lancashire Local Plan.

The production of the new Central Lancashire Local Plan and our input into that process is an immensely important factor in shaping our communities for the future and ensuring sustainable development. 

Officers from all 3 authorities have been providing input and expertise in relation to air quality, with a particular focus on sustainable development, energy generation and conservation, alternative transport options and the infrastructure inclusions necessary to encourage behavioural change while still delivering economic growth. 

This ambitious plan will then support the individual authorities to implement planning guidance that seeks to minimise any negative impact of development on air quality and strive to improve air quality.

We work closely with Public Health colleagues at Lancashire County Council. Working with district councils, Lancashire County Council has an important role to play in taking action to reduce these health impacts of air pollution. Responsible for education, transport planning, network management, highway maintenance, public health and procuring local vehicle fleets, there are many ways Lancashire County Council supports local and county wide efforts to improve air quality. 

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