Villager’s anger over court threat in ‘smoking chimney’ row with council

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A man is facing the risk of prosecution for smoke emissions from the chimney of his home in a Pennine village - despite using only smokeless fuel.

Bradford Council chiefs have served Deacon Phelan, of Haworth, with a warning over “thick, black, acrid” smoke from his chimney.

Mr Phelan claims his own video evidence of the chimney in action proves this is not the case.

“I am coming very close to the end of my tether with this whole situation,” he said.

“I have letters from my local coal merchant saying that I only use smokeless fuel and even the police and Bradford Council officials have come into my home and seen that is the case but I still receive these letters and fines.

“I’ve even put a sign up on my house saying I’m using this smokeless fuel.

“The furnace is over 30 years’ old and heats the entire house, including the water.

“All I am trying to do is keep warm.

“It is a crazy situation that just keeps going round in circles.

“I have photos sent by the council as proof of black smoke yet they actually show nothing.”

Mr Phelan is also puzzled by the council’s “bizarre” interest in his chimney as his home is very close to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, which operates daily steam engine services.

A Bradford Council environmental health spokesman said Mr Phelan’s home is within a smoke-controlled area and its officials had seen smoke coming out of his chimney.

It was still considering whether to prosecute him.