Scottish Government to review ‘inflexible’ wood-burning stove regulations

Scottish Government to review ‘inflexible’ wood-burning stove regulations

The Scottish Government has confirmed it will review a new law that effectively bans wood-burning stoves in new build homes after ministers admitted the regulations were “inflexible”.

Minister for climate action Gillian Martin confirmed to Parliament yesterday that a review will be carried out of the New Build Heat Standard regulations with an intention to adapt them to “address the issues of inflexibility” raised by communities.

Under the regulations, which came into force on April 1, new homes and buildings cannot use direct-emission heating systems including gas or oil boilers.

The rules had aimed to ensure that heat pumps and heat networks were used instead, but rural communities had called for a rethink given their propensity to use bioenergy sources such as wood and log burning stoves, fireplaces and firepits.

Protestors against the legislation had said they didn’t have access to the main gas supply and relied on log burners for heat during power cuts.

Homes that already had the appliances in place were not affected by the new legislation.

But Ms Martin stated that she had been “listening to the concerns raised” and she would look to adapt the legislation.

She said: “The outcome of this review will ensure resilience to interruptions of electricity and heating supply, a respect for rural communities cultures and traditions and sustainable systems.

“I want to ensure climate friendly alternatives to direct emissions are promoted in appropriate ways across Scotland with no unintended consequences with regard to fuel poverty and sustainability, particularly in rural communities.”

Scottish Conservatives rural affairs spokeswoman Rachael Hamilton said the ban should be reversed entirely.

She said: “Woodburning stoves are often the only source of heat in emergency situations or when extreme weather strikes and this ban totally ignored the realities of rural life.

“SNP ministers now need to go further and reverse this ban altogether as a matter of urgency to give full reassurance to those across rural Scotland.”

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