Can I build a smoking shelter?

If you wish to build an external smoking shelter for employees or customers, you must make sure the shelter complies with the law. Any structure used as a smoking shelter must have a minimum of 50% of its sides open at all times. This is known as the 50% rule.

In practice this means that if you have a square smoking area with a roof and 4 sides, it must only have two walls. Doors and windows that can be closed do not count as part of the 50% rule.

All structures with a roof and sides used for smoking must comply with the rule, including tents and marquees. If the sides of the tent or marquee can be rolled down to enclose the space more than 50%, they must be completely removed from the structure.

The smoke-free law has been put in place to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of second hand smoke; you should give consideration to how you can prevent smoke getting into smoke-free places from your shelter.

50% open smoking shelter

Before building a smoking shelter, it is recommended that you contact the planning department at the council to check if your proposed shelter needs planning permission.

You should also consider any noise or litter that might be created by people using your shelter and the best ways to control them.

Contact details

Commercial and Business Support Team
Email this service
01327 322323

How do you rate this page?

Website Feedback