RESIDENTS living in a smoke control area of Lurgan have been warned they risk fines of up to £400 a day if they burn ordinary coal or wood.
The Environmental Health Department have been investigating complaints about Garland Crescent in Lurgan.
In their letter they have reminded residents that they are in a smoke control area which was established by the council some time ago.
The letter continues: “This simply means that the emission of smoke from dwellings is prohibited and that to avoid making smoke it is necessary to use fuels which the Clean Air Act authorises for use in such areas.
“You are however permitted to use sticks and paper whilst lighting a fire.
“If you already burn smokeless fuel or gas or electricity you need do nothing more but if you have been burning coal and wood you will have to burn smokeless fuel instead.”
The letter indicates that anyone who fails to comply is liable to a fine of up to £400 for each day on which the offence is committed.
“As a result of the number of complaints received inspections of your area will be carried out from time to time and it is hoped that no further action with be necessary,” says the letter.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said the situation was a nightmare.
Said the resident: “I can only describe the area as the equivalent of a Victorian industrial town in the north of England, pouring out plums of black smoke with the added stench of a power station.
“I contacted the environmental health and explained that a number of properties were burning non smokeless fuels on a regular basis and they had a responsibility to stop it.
“One neighbour told me people burn cheap coal as it works out more economical than a fill of oil. He said that no one worries about the council coming down, the secret is to burn the cheap stuff after five o’clock and at weekends.
“Another informed me that one resident in the area had received two official warnings and even an abatement order.”
Have you been affected by neighbours burning the wrong fuels? Text us your views to 84555, starting your message with LMCOMMENTS.