Oxford to ban gas hobs in new homes

Oxford Ban Gas Hobs
Oxford Ban Gas Hobs

Gas hobs and boilers are to be banned in all new homes in Oxford from 2025 under council plans.

Oxford City Council has said the new rules for builders, part of a wider scheme for the city to hit net zero by 2040, would help tackle the “existential threat of climate change”.

Appliances that use fossil fuels in heating and cooking are to be forbidden from being installed in new houses and commercial developments with only limited exceptions, under the proposals.

The Labour council wants to bring forward its previous 2036 date for the ban on gas and oil in new builds, going further than what has been set out by the Government.

In September, Rishi Sunak pushed back a number of green targets 10 years to 2035, including the ban on new gas boilers and petrol and diesel cars.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has criticised Oxford councillors for diverging from the already “very challenging” national timetable to meet net zero by 2050.

Steve Turner, executive director at the HBF, said: “The industry is committed to the Government’s very challenging agenda to make new homes even more efficient and is working with stakeholders to deliver it.

“We need all parties, including central and local government to work together and avoid diverging off the developing plan, which will lead to unnecessary delays and additional costs.”

Under the plans, developers who fail to meet the proposed requirements would be made to contribute to council funds ring fenced to combat climate change.

The council said this would be a “last resort” if builders were unable to fit carbon neutral alternatives such as heat pumps and electric hobs.

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Homes with gas hobs have been shown to have around twice the amount of nitrogen dioxide, a dangerous pollutant, as those with electric stoves even with extra ventilation, according to a study published this month.

New York is also banning all natural gas hobs from 2026, making it the first state in America to do so.

There is no specific ban on gas hobs in the UK, although many new homes will increasingly not be connected to the UK’s gas grid as they incorporate net zero technology such as induction and electric hobs and heat pumps.

Developers in charge of more than 9,600 new houses that are planned to be built in Oxford would be affected by the rule change, which also requires them to meet minimum standards of trees, hedges and greenery.

The council has opened a public consultation on the so-called Local Plan 2040 pledges.

The scheme also proposes all new developments meet a minimum standard of 40pc affordable housing where they include 10 or more houses and that all new developments within a controlled parking zone, near regular bus routes or shops to be “car-free”.

Councillor Louise Upton said: “Our Local Plan 2040 aims to find the right balance to help us tackle the housing crisis and climate emergency, support our communities and residents and make Oxford a better place for everyone. We also want to make sure businesses that benefit most from our growing economy pay a fairer share towards the infrastructure that supports them.

“We need to know if you think our plans are sound. This is the last opportunity for people to give their views before the Planning Inspectorate examines our plans. I’d encourage everyone with an interest in a better future for our city to take part.”


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