Published On: Tue, Apr 9th, 2024

SNP quietly bans popular item in green crackdown with pensioners in firing line | Politics | News

The Scottish National Party has been accused of launching an attack on rural Scotland following a ban on wood-burning stoves in new homes.

Housebuilders cannot install “polluting heating systems, which include log burners, following the introduction of new regulations to tackle climate change.

Alasdair MacMillan, who runs an Argyll-based architecture and planning company, described the changes as “seismic”.

Meanwhile Douglas Lumsden, an energy spokesman for the Scottish Tories, said: “It is vital that Scotland achieves net zero and cut emissions – but banning heating systems that people rely on is not the right way to go about it.

“Many people living in rural, off-grid areas rely on wood-burning stoves to heat their houses, especially in emergencies. This ban would leave them without any way to heat their homes.

“Yet again, the SNP-Green Government are showing their contempt for rural Scotland, ploughing ahead with rash ideas without considering the significant impact on individuals and their lives.”

The move, which came into force at the start of this month, has raised concerns among pensioners and remote Highland communities relying on off-grid forms of heating.

Wood burning releases particle pollution into homes, gardens and neighbourhoods, which has a negative impact on the local environment and people’s health.

About 1.5 million UK households use wood for fuel, according to government statistics on air pollution.

The SNP‘s Kate Forbes, one-time challenger for the First Minister role and the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said she was seeking “urgent clarification on the rules”.

She said: “This has just been brought to my attention by more than a few concerned Highlanders who heat their homes (as thousands do) using wood-burning stoves, especially older residents who rely on them during a time of crippling energy price rises.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “The changes mean that new homes and buildings do not contribute to climate emissions, by banning the use of polluting heating systems such as oil and gas boilers, and bioenergy – including wood-burning stoves.

“Existing homes are completely unaffected as the standard will not apply to the installation of heating in homes and buildings built before 2024.

“Wood-burning stoves and other heating systems that cause emissions can also still be installed in new homes to provide emergency heating, where a need can be justified – responding to feedback from rural communities.”

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