Forestry Commission Scotland logo

Review regulations

It's worth starting to get to know the relevant building, planning and smoke control regulations early on, in case they have some obvious implications for your project. For example, your building may be in an Air Quality Management Area.

Chimney giving out smoke

Building control

All wood fuel heating systems need a flue. A flue is a duct, pipe or chimney for conveying exhaust gases from a wood fuel boiler to the outdoors.

Flues must comply with building regulations. The technical handbooks for domestic and non-domestic properties specify various requirements for flues for solid fuel appliances.

Most new chimneys and flues will need a building warrant.

Read more about building standards relating to woodfuel.


Under recent legislation for renewables in domestic properties, planning permission is not required for wood fuel generation under 45 kW unless:

  • the flue exceeds one meter above the roof height (excluding the chimney) or is installed on the principal elevation and visible from a road in buildings in Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites.
  • the flue is situated within an Air Quality Management Area.

Read more about planning regulations and guidance relating to woodfuel.

Smoke control

If you are in a Smoke Control Area, you must check whether your equipment and the fuel used is listed as exempt under the Clean Air Act.

If you are located in one of the Air Quality Management Areas in Scotland, further restrictions may apply and you must ensure your wood fuel boiler is listed on the Energy Technology List for Biomass Boilers and Roomheaters.

Read more about air quality regulations and guidance relating to woodfuel.

Next steps