Ban on wood burners threatens British boat-dwellers with winter freeze

2 months ago 39

A new law allows councils to impose on-the-spot fines for emitting smoke

People who live on narrowboats and barges – many on low incomes – say they may struggle to stay warm this winter because an increasing number of councils are planning to fine people burning wood on moored vessels.

Under the Environment Act, which came into force in 2021, council enforcement officers can issue on-the-spot fines of up to £300 to boat dwellers emitting visible smoke from wood burners. Only Sandwell council, in the West Midlands, has so far approved plans to enforce smoke controls along its 41 miles of canals. But three other councils – Liverpool, Newham and Cannock Chase – are planning to start fining houseboats.

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