A MAN’S solitary campaign to ban wood-burning stoves in Scotland has been briefly put on hold while MSPs wait for a Scottish Government report.

Holyrood’s Petitions Committee yesterday heard a plea from Jim Nisbett to make it “illegal to use a log burner fire in a smoke control area”.

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In the petition, which has no signatures, and which Nisbett seems to have closed off to stop anyone else adding their support, he said wood burning stoves were an unnecessary and “trendy” luxury. “It seems that most properties with log burners also have full gas or electric central heating hence there is no actual need to have them,” Nisbett wrote. “They are seem as an increasingly ‘trendy’ house accessory to impress friends and guests.”

In response, MSPs said the Government had already admitted the 1993 Clean Air Act, which regulates smoke control areas and rules around installing stoves, was not fit for purpose.

Under the existing laws, it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of any building within a smoke control area, unless the source “can be used for burning fuel other than authorised fuels without producing any smoke or a substantial quantity of smoke”, a clause which allows most stoves to be used.

Giving evidence to an inquiry by parliament’s Environment Climate Change and Land Reform Committee on air quality, Health Protection Scotland said they were “beginning to get concerned” about the contribution of stoves to air pollution.

But a lack of available data, including little idea on how many stoves were in use, meant the committee was unable to say if the stoves were “a serious contributing factor to harmful pollutants”. It did, however, say there was “a gap in regulations around the installation of wood burning stoves.”

Ministers have another month to respond to that report, and the Petitions Committee will consider Nisbett’s campaign again then.