Old 11-03-2007, 05:31 PM
Wlodek's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: England's Lake District
Posts: 134
Default UK planning permissions and smoke control areas

One question and one (hopefully) useful link.

Has any of the UK members had issues with the local planning department? When I sent a question whether I need a planning permission for my gazebo I was told that I need one, even though it would have no walls. So I changed the plan. It now involves a free standing oven in a gable house type enclosure and a 3m awning extending between the house and the oven, when it is needed.

I understand that a free standing oven with just its own roof does not require any paperwork as long as it is not in a smoke control area. Would anybody from the UK please correct me if I am wrong here? Would Alf (Forno Bravo UK) be able to comment? I know that my area is not a smoke control one, but a lot of towns are.

If you are in a smoke controlled area, then on the Orchard Ovens site there is some advice, and it appears that they have applied for a special permit for the ovens they sell. These ovens are of very similar construction to most other refractory wood fired ovens, so I gather that in case of formal issues the document they produce on their web site would help with the paperwork where it is needed ( a precedent with a very similar equipment is a good argument). The document is linked from this page:
Orchard Ovens Ltd

Best wishes from very autumnal South Lakes,

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Old 11-03-2007, 08:30 PM
sarah h's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 567
Default Re: UK planning permissions and smoke control areas

Hi Wlodek,

I'm not in the UK so I'm not much help to you but I wish you luck with your permits. It's a worry of mine that these ovens could be an easy target in the midst of growing environmental concerns and their use could end up far more restricted or even forbidden in the not-so-distant future. I don't feel that, in the grand scheme of things, the wood these ovens burn collectively amounts to much compared to so many other things happening globally, however, misguided public opinion could put them on the politically incorrect list pretty fast!

I've been planning to do some research into the environmental impact of burning wood vs. letting it decompose in the forest because it's been suggested to me that there is little difference and I'd like to find some neutralizing facts that I can throw back at anyone who challenges my use of my oven. If anyone has any information in this regard, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

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Old 11-04-2007, 01:28 AM
Frances's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allschwil, Switzerland
Posts: 2,186
Default Re: UK planning permissions and smoke control areas


I'll chime in on this one, although obviously I have no idea what the legal situation is like in the UK either (all I know about Switzerland is that every town and village has its own different regulations). But on the environmental question, I thought that as long as you make sure to buy wood from providors who plant as many trees as they fell, the CO2 emission from burning the wood equals the CO2 amount the trees absorb while they are growing. That leaves the energy used for cutting them down and transport - so buy locally. ...And chop your own firewood with an axe maybe?

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Old 11-04-2007, 08:22 AM
Wlodek's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: England's Lake District
Posts: 134
Default Re: UK planning permissions and smoke control areas

Thanks Sarah and Frances,

I am using fire wood supplies from a tree surgeon in the nearby village, so this wood would be burnt in wood burning ovens in the area anyway. This wood comes from trimming the local gardens not from felling trees somewhere else, which I see as a sound environmental policy.

You are right about someone going over the top with this new form of political correctness sooner or later. I suspect it is more likely that any limitations would be imposed on commercial activities, at least at first and in this area.

I think that burning wood for household needs is much more sound than burning fuels that have been dug out for that purpose and I am sure you will find some publications to this effect.

Just think pizza for a moment. If I want to make one I need to use my electric oven, which requires usually burning a lot of fossil fuel somewhere else, the losses in the generation process, network efficiency, plus other carbon costs (say maintenance engineers driving in the field to maintain the network).

OK, so much for my profound thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

I am still hoping someone from the UK with the right sort of knowledge or experience will let me know if there any "lawful impediments" - sorry "Four weddings and a funeral" was on last night and I could not resist.

Best wishes,

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