Dry cleaners

You need to have a permit from us to operate a dry cleaning machine.

The permit is a legal document which allows the operator of a dry cleaning machine to emit air pollution. There are strict controls in place to limit the amount of pollution allowed. Operators have to follow these rules carefully.

Why do I need a permit?
Dry cleaning uses volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can be harmful to human health and there are legal limits to VOC emissions.

How do I apply for a permit?
In order to operate as a dry cleaner, you’ll need a permit from us. Here’s how:

  • contact us by one of the methods below to obtain an application form
  • fill in the application form
  • make a cheque payable for the appropriate fee to the 'London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham'
  • send it to:

Public Protection and Safety
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
5th floor Hammersmith Town Hall Extension
King Street
London
W6 9JU

As part of the application process, we’ll inspect your premises to make sure that you can work within the terms of the permit. We’ll explain how the permit works and what you need to do. If we find that work is needed at your premises, you’ll have to complete this before we issue the permit.

What costs do I have to pay?
In addition to our one-time application fee, you’ll have to pay an annual subsistence fee. We will send you an invoice annually for this.

For information about fees and charges, email us at environmental.quality@lbhf.gov.uk or call on 020 8753 1081.

How do I comply with the permit?
Your permit outlines everything you need to do to follow the rules. In order to make things easier we will shortly be producing a simple guidance document. Essentially the requirements are to use less than one litre of solvent (Perc) for every 80kg of clothes cleaned.

You need to keep accurate records of the weight (in kg) of each load cleaned and how much solvent (Perc) you use. You need to record these values on weekly and annual sheets.

Do I need to buy a new dry cleaning machine?
You will only need to upgrade your machine if it can’t meet these requirements. Generally, this applies to some older machines.

I run a receiving shop only and do not have a dry cleaning machine. Do I need a permit?
If you only run a receiving shop and do not have a dry cleaning machine at your premises then you don’t need a permit. However, please let us know this so we can keep our records up to date.

I am closing my dry cleaning shop down. Do I need to tell you?
Yes. You will need to:

  • contact us by one of the methods below to obtain a surrender form
  • complete the surrender form
  • send it to the address at the bottom of this page

I am getting a new dry cleaning machine. Do I need to tell you?
Yes. You will need to complete a variation form. Then, we’ll send you a variation notice giving details of the new machine.

I am selling my business. Do I need to tell you?
Yes. You will need to complete a transfer form. There is no fee if it is a full transfer. However, there is a fee for a partial transfer and both parties must fill in the form.

What are the penalties of not applying for a permit?
It is an offence under Section 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 to operate a dry cleaning facility without a permit. The maximum penalty in a court of law is a fine of up to £50,000 or imprisonment up to five years.

Contact details

Environmental Quality
5th floor Hammersmith Town Hall Extension
King Street
London
W6 9JU

020 8753 1081
environmental.quality@lbhf.gov.uk

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