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Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has sought to dispel concerns about changes in Scottish government building regulations that appear to outlaw solid fuel stoves.

The Holyrood lawmaker has stated: “It is important to highlight that there is no ban, or plans for any ban, on cutting or burning peat, as some have recently suggested. 

“Households can continue to make use of whichever fuel source is most efficient and cost-effective for their home. Nor is there any plan to restrict the use of stoves in existing buildings.”

However, like Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Isles MSP seeks clarification. Specifically, the Holyrood lawmaker is seeking further details on the regulations for new builds.

“But indications are that there would not be any issue for a newbuild home receiving the necessary approval if it has a main zero-emissions heating system along with a back-up stove or other heating system. I would certainly recognise that stoves and fireplaces are still essential to the heating of many houses, not least in the islands, with their very significant levels of fuel poverty,” he added.

The MSP emphasised that it is vital that island and rural circumstances are fully considered and the necessary exceptions made to ensure “everyone can continue to heat their homes in the most practical and efficient way possible” while also continuing to work towards net zero targets.

Meanwhile, TV gardener Monty Don has condemned gardeners who use peat as “lazy and irresponsible” and backed a new push for the UK government to ban peat for garden compost.

The gardening TV host said no garden was worth damaging peatland that takes thousands of years to form and store huge amounts of carbon.

The TV gardener said “no garden” is worth damaging peat bogs that take thousands of years to form and store vast amounts of carbon.

A Private Member’s Bill renewing calls for a ban will be debated in the House of Commons next Monday (April 22), two years after the UK government pledged to ban the sale of peat-based compost by the end of 2024.