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Letters / Central belt thinking

Another triumph for the Scottish government!  New building standards are now in force which ban wood burners in new build, but there is confusion over the detail and how this might impact housing in rural and island areas.

This is another lifestyle-changing issue that did not feature in a manifesto, with no public debate, little public consultation, and with no public announcement of the wood stove ban, you have to feel that this has been sneaked out.

Initially, wood burners were part of the proposals being allowed as emergency energy back-up, then wood burners were withdrawn, and now if you look at the discussion online it is not clear what the situation is.

There is also the vexed question of where do renovations/conversions stand.  A renovation/conversion is to an existing house, so not new build, but again unclear whether a wood burner can be installed.

It could be argued that this is a policy based on central belt thinking, but does it fit in here?  People who collect and dry their own wood, are doing their bit for the environment and net zero.

There are various MPs and MSPs on a jolly to Tartan Day in New York.  A return flight from Edinburgh produces 1,642kg of CO2.  A 3kw woodburning stove produces 8g C02 per hour.  Assuming the stove is on five hours per day, it would take 43 years, 43 years, to produce 1642kg of CO2.

Maybe, fewer flights and fewer jollies is the way forward.

The Highlands and Islands already have the cleanest air in Scotland.  Was any research done on how much rural/island wood burning stoves contribute to CO2 emissions?   What was that talk about island proofing legislation and regulations?

At a time of crippling energy price rises, and with power cuts always a possibility, especially in the windier, colder weather, a woodburning stove is a good back up, perhaps a necessity.

Cameron McNeish has pointed out the effect on wood burning stove manufacturers, retailers and installers who will be hit hard by this, and if you have this form of heating, spare parts and maintenance will become increasingly difficult.

Should all of this not have been thought through ahead of launch day?  The SNP and the Greens, a bit like the Hate Crime Act, appear to be making up law/regulations as they go along.

My worry, looking over to my wood burner, would be if there is a ban on wood burners in new build, is a ban of wood burners in existing houses coming down the line.

Brian Nugent


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