Air quality

North Kesteven District Council is actively involved in assessing and controlling air quality throughout the District.

The Council has undertaken a review and assessment of air quality in the District, which has demonstrated that our air meets the Government’s targets for the range of pollutants in the Air Quality Strategy. We routinely monitor Nitrogen Dioxide levels at locations throughout the District

There are over 40 potentially polluting industries in the District that are controlled by Environmental Services by a system of permits under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999. For these industries (which include small waste oil burners; dry cleaners; industrial coaters; quarries and petrol filling stations) emissions are controlled by a range of legally enforceable conditions. These processes are subject to regular routine inspection.

We also respond to complaints regarding air pollution issues, such as smoke nuisance from bonfires, emissions of dark smoke and offensive odours.

Where enforcement action is necessary, officers take appropriate action dependent on the seriousness of the breach of the law, guided by our enforcement policy which can be found below in Adobe PDF format.

There are currently only two Smoke Control Areas, both located in North Hykeham. You can see the Smoke Control Area Map in the downloads section.

North Kesteven District Council carries out monthly Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) diffusion tube air quality monitoring at a number of sites throughout the district, the results from which are available online on the DEFRA website.

Air quality forecasting

The link below gives information from The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on air pollution. There are daily updated forecasts for up to 24-hours ahead of UK air pollution concentrations. Forecasts are issued for sixteen urban areas and sixteen UK regions for roadside, urban background and rural locations.

DEFRA air pollution information bands

The information is published as Air Pollution Information Bands for five pollutants. The bands are Low, Moderate, High and Very High (see table below) and relate to the potential for the levels of pollution to impact on the health of the population. These bandings are also used by DEFRA to assess long-term trends in air quality for reporting against national targets.

Pollution band & numerical index and their health effects

Pollution bands and numerical index and their associated health effects
index (band)
Health effects
1-3 (Low) Effects are unlikely to be noticed by people who know they are sensitive to air pollutants.
4-6 (Moderate) Mild effects are unlikely to require action, but sensitive people may notice them.
7-9 (High) Sensitive people may notice significant effects, and may have to act to reduce or avoid them (for example, by reducing time spent outdoors). Asthmatics will find that their reliever inhaler should reverse the effects of pollution on their lungs.
10 (Very high) The effects of high levels of pollution on sensitive people may worsen when pollution becomes very high.

Sensitive individuals are people who suffer from heart and lung diseases, including asthma, particularly if they are elderly.

To request help with an air pollution problem, contact the Environmental Health Team at via our general enquiries form or phone 01529 414155 and ask for the EH team.

Smoke Control Area

These are areas of the District within which it is an offence to emit smoke from the chimney of a building. The name ‘Smokeless Zone’ is also often used to describe these areas. 

It is not an offence to have bonfires in these areas. 

If you want to know if you live in a Smoke Control Area (SCA), please contact Environmental Services. (N.B. The only SCAs in North Kesteven are in North Hykeham.) A map showing the SCAs within North Kesteven is also available in the downloads tab.

If you would like to contact us you can do so via our general enquiries form.

Wood Burning Stoves

Normally there is no planning/building control permission needed for a wood burning stove (though you may need to check if you’re having any significant building works or you’re in a listed building), but have it installed by a competent person who will issue you with a HETAS compliant certificate once the works are complete.