Ministers have been accused of implementing “shoddy legislation” after it emerged that new regulations effectively ban biomass boilers in new homes while subsidies worth thousands are still available to install them in existing properties, it is being reported.

Restrictions on wood-burning stoves in new build houses are part of the Scottish Government’s attempts to curb emissions of fossil fuels as part of its net-zero strategy.

The legislation also covers biomass boilers, which use sustainably sourced pellets made from woodchips, saw-dust, straw and other plant material.

However, an investigation has found that grant funding of up to £9,000 is available for biomass boilers for existing properties, when an applicant can provide evidence that a heat pump, the Scottish Government’s preferred option, is not suitable.

READ MORE: Leading architect slams 'crazy' ban on wood-burning stoves

That means some families will be prohibited from installing the systems in their new homes, while others in existing houses are given thousands of pounds in grants and interest-free loans.

Douglas Lumsden, the Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, said ministers were preventing rural communities, where wood-burning and biomass stoves were more important, from heating their homes “while subsidising others elsewhere”.

“This latest shoddy legislation again demonstrates their contempt for rural Scotland and there’s still no Scottish Government guidance on how exemptions will work,” he said. “You can’t have one family barred from using responsibly sourced wood while offering to subsidise others.”

The Government has been heavily criticised by rural communities after the regulations came into force at the beginning of this month, stating that all new homes must be fitted with “clean” heating such as air or ground-sourced heat pump technology rather than gas or wood-burning boilers.

It later clarified that wood-burners could be built in homes but only for emergency purposes if special exemption rules were satisfied. The regulations have no effect on homes that already have wood-burning systems installed.

Anna Gardiner, policy adviser for Scottish Land & Estates, told the Sunday Post that wood-burners were the cheapest, most efficient way to warm homes in rural areas because of a ready supply of local timber.

“The gas grid present in cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow does not exist in many rural settings,” she said. “We do not believe a ban on installing wood-burning stoves in new rural homes is suitable at present.”

A spokesman for Patrick Harvie, the net zero minister, said: “The new building standard will mean new homes are built with modern and green heating systems while allowing wood-burning systems for emergency back-up where required. This move, which follows two consultations, has been widely welcomed as a positive step forward in our fight against climate change, and was approved unanimously by the Scottish parliament, including Mr Lumsden’s party, when they considered the regulations last year.”