Clean Air Strategy 2019

Updated 19 Aug 2020

The Government have recently announced a delay in the housecoal ban - it will now come into effect on the 1st May 2021 rather than the previously publicised 21 Feb 21. As before, we will continue to be able to supply this product in open sacks until 2023.

Updated 24 Feb 2020

The Government published their response to the consultation on domestic burning on Friday 21 February 2020 and this is available at this link. We participated fully in the consultation and are pleased that a lot of the information that we supplied appears to have been considered. We continue to await the outcome of the full parliamentary process that will now ensue but in the meantime, the headlines are as follows:

1) Prepacked housecoal will not be able to be sold from 21 February 2021, however Approved Coal Merchants such as ourselves will still be able to supply this product in open sacks until February 2023.

2) Anthracite is unaffected and will still be sold in both prepack and open sacks.

3) All manufactured ovoids will need to meet a sulphur content of <2% and an emission rate of <5g per hour. The only product that we sell that currently fails to meet this standard is Oxbow Red, but we are already having discussions with the company that make it and will​ continue to keep you informed as these discussions conclude.

Please let us know if you have any questions or would like our advice on what alternative products would be suitable to burn on your appliance, prior to the ban coming into effect. We would be very happy to help you and will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.


You have probably read about Michael Gove's "Clean Air Strategy" in the papers recently and I have created this page to explain the facts.

The full strategy is published at this link and the details relating to domestic pollution start at page 58.

The primary reason for the introduction of this strategy is due to the burning of wet wood which many consumers do not realise should be seasoned at home for up to 2 years prior to burning. 

The strategy recognises that not all solid fuel burning is equally polluting and that there are measures you can take to reduce your emissions, such as operating your appliance efficiently, ensuring it is correctly installed and working, that your chimneys are regularly swept and using the most appropriate fuels, both for your stove and the area you live in (i.e. only using smokeless coals in smoke control areas). It is also recognised that using a stove is better for the environment than burning on an open fire.

The Forest of Dean averages a pollution rating of 1 out of 6 (Good) meaning there is a low chance of average nitrogen dioxide levels exceeding the annual legal limit. The Forest of Dean, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire do not have any smoke control areas so all of our products are currently legal to use within these boundaries.

At present the sulphur content of solid fuels is limited to 2% in smoke control areas - suitable fuels that we sell fitting this criteria include Anthracite, Taybrite and Excel.

The smoke control areas within South Gloucestershire are detailed at this link. This map details the smoke control area of Gloucester City. If you live in Cheltenham, please click this link to find out whether you live within a smoke control area.


If you would like any further information or specific advice on what product would be best to burn in your property/on your appliance, please get in touch and we would be delighted to help.

F Pritchard Coal Merchants participated in the Government's Call For Evidence and look forward to reading the formal response when it is published. As always, once we become aware of any new legislation, we will communicate this to our customers as quickly as possible, especially to any who use a product that falls outside of legislation and will need to be replaced with a suitable alternative.

© 2018 by F Pritchard Coal Merchants

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