Campaigners and councillors are calling on the council to strengthen restrictions to cut air pollution in the city.

Clean Air for Brighton and Hove and councillors from the Green Party are calling for the city’s smoke control area, which currently covers seven per cent of the city, to be expanded across Brighton and Hove.

The zone, which covers the city centre, Hanover, Bevendean and Lewes Road areas, prohibits the emission of excess smoke from chimneys and limits what fuels can be legally burnt, with fines for households which do not adhere to the rules.

While it does not amount to an outright ban on wood-burning stoves, it does restrict the type of stove to those that are approved by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Brighton and Hove is the largest city in England to not entirely be covered by a smoke control area.

Campaigners have said that the issue of domestic wood burning is a big contributor to many of the health issues caused by air pollution, including asthma, heart disease, strokes, dementia and cancers.

The Green Party will call on the Labour administration to expand the zone at a council meeting later this week.

Councillor Kerry Pickett, the Green environment spokeswoman on the city council, said the proposal is in the best interests of local people.

She said: “Recent research outlining just how much of our city is plagued by dirty air and the proven links between air pollution and so many serious health risks, including many experienced by young children, means it must be time to act.

“Every single city in England which is the size of Brighton and Hove or larger is now entirely covered by a smoke control area.

“People will say that our blustery seaside location does not impact us in the same way as non-coastal cities, but the science does not support that.

“If it is important enough for other major cities, it should be good enough for Brighton and Hove.

“It also isn’t true that burning wood is a cheap alternative to central heating. Even if it was, as a council we should want to lift people out of fuel poverty rather than condemn them to a short-term solution proven to have dangerous implications on people’s health.

“Labour has promised a data-led approach to improving local air quality. If that is the case, the data is loud and clear about the need for a smoke control area.”

Recent research from environmental charity Friends of the Earth estimated nearly nine in every ten neighbourhoods across the city are exposed to dangerously high levels of air pollution.

The same study found that 77 schools in Brighton and Hove are in areas with dangerous levels of pollution, meaning around 44,000 children could be breathing in polluted air.

Labour councillor Tim Rowkins said: "We are already looking at the role of smoke control areas in Brighton and Hove with a view to improving air quality.

"We are in the process of reviewing air quality data across the city in order to know exactly what is the impact of burning solid fuels on pollution.

"We must collect real and reliable evidence to make sure we take the right action to improve air quality.

"The Greens are lobbying for an extension of the smoke control area but when they were in administration did not even enforce the existing area.

"There is no point in having a city-wide smoke control areas without enforcement and better information for residents. This is why we are taking stock of the options to improve air quality across the city so that we can make a real difference."

The proposal is expected to be discussed in a meeting of full council on Thursday.