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Clarity on wood burning stoves urgently needed

Publication: The Orkney News

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has written to the Scottish Government seeking clarity on the new building standards concerning wood burning stoves.

Rhoda Grant, Labour’s Rural Affairs, Islands and Land Reform Spokesperson

In her letter, Rhoda Grant has called for the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Patrick Harvie to provide detail on who can apply for exemptions to the ban, in addition to how the SNP-Green Government came to the decision on the ban and what impact assessments were carried out.

In the Scottish Parliament on 16th April, Patrick Harvie stated that exemptions can be given but did not give detail on what criteria would need to be met, instead stating that flexibility will be necessary for certain circumstances.

Rhoda Grant who is Labour’s Rural Affairs, Islands and Land Reform Spokesperson in the Scottish Parliament said:

profile picture of Rhoda Grant

“There is a desperate need for clarity on the new rules of this ban. I have been inundated with requests from constituents across rural Scotland who are concerned the Scottish Government are taking away heating systems that are relied upon, not as a superficial accessory in the home, but as an important secondary heating source. In many cases, wood burning stoves are used for practical means of heating homes in rural Scotland.

“Storms can knock out power in islands and rural communities for days at a time, as we saw in the winter just passed. Taking away the ability to burn wood or peat during a power cut will leave many households anxious when the lights begin to flicker and there is no back up to heat the house.

“There needs to be clear, unambiguous reassurances from Patrick Harvie on what exemptions will be granted on these rules. I have written to him expressing the great need to provide assurances to homeowners urgently on this matter.

“This regulation is poorly thought out and the communication has been even worse. This is an example of central-belt policy where considerations of rural homeowners have gone up in smoke – ironically, unlike their woodpiles.”