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Government challenged over abandoning 'conservatory tax'

The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) will mount a legal challenge over the government’s scrapping of consequential improvements - also know as the ‘conservatory tax’

The ACE has informed communities secretary Eric Pickles it will seek a judicial review of his decision in December to rule out implementing any consequential improvements requirements for smaller buildings.

Last January Pickles launched a public consultation proposing that, when households erect extensions or convert garages, around ten per cent further of that cost should be spent on improving the energy efficiency of the original building.

But in December Pickles issued a statement scrapping these plans, which had been dubbed as a ‘conservatory tax’.

ACE director Andrew Warren said: ‘There is no explanation whatsoever for Pickles’ change of heart. Apart from his formal statement on December 13, we cannot tell why he has decided to reject a scheme, which, less than a year earlier, he was recommending so strongly. Even though he had demonstrated it to be good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for the Green Deal and essentially, good governance.

‘His decision is too perverse to remain unchallenged. It is, put bluntly, appalling governance.’

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