The Scottish Government has been accused of a ‘screeching U turn’ after confirming that controversial regulations on wood-burning stoves and biomass boilers will be reviewed.

As part of the Bute House Agreement between the Greens and SNP, new regulations meant that ‘climate friendly heating systems’ must be used in any new-build home, with current technology such as gas boilers banned in favour of new systems such as ground source heat pumps.

The regulations sparked concern across rural communities who pointed out that systems such as wood-burning stoves provided heat during prolonged powers cuts.

Speaking during question time at Holyrood this week, minister for climate action, Gillian Martin said she has been ‘listening to the concerns raised by communities and will be reviewing the regulations on wood-burning stoves and biomass boilers with the intention to adapt them to address the issues of inflexibility that have been raised.

“The outcome of the review will ensure resilience to interruptions of electricity and heating supply and respect for rural communities’ culture, traditions and sustainable systems.

“I want to ensure that 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.”

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Ms Martin added the review will be ‘collaborative’ and ‘carried out in short order’.

The statement was in response to a question by Tory rural affairs spokesperson Rachael Hamilton.

Ms Hamilton said: “the Scottish National Party has done another screeching U-turn. Over the weekend, we heard from several news outlets that the Deputy First Minister had committed to a review of the new build heat standard, which bans direct emission heating in new-build homes.”

She added the regulations are ‘misguided, ill-formed and fail to understand the realities of rural life’ and pointed out the stove industry in Scotland is worth around £60 million annually and supports more than 2000 jobs, but one firm had seen a sharp drop in turnover since the regulations had been introduced.

However, former green minister Patrick Harvie was scathing about the review.

He said: “Is it not clear from the current situation that all we need is a little bit of lobbying from vested interests and a little bit of misinformation and the SNP will start unravelling even modest measures that have been put in place for good reasons?”

Ms Martin concluded: “I want to listen to those rural communities and those voices. That is what a responsible Government should do, and I am happy to take Mr Harvie’s views on that as well.”