People in glass houses… Scientist gives interview on environmental harm of conservatories – from her conservatory

·3-min read
Environmental scientist Angela Terry on Good Morning Britain
Environmental scientist Angela Terry on Good Morning Britain

They say people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - but one green campaigner seems to have missed the memo.

Angela Terry, an environmental scientist, appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about new restrictions on conservatories - speaking from her own conservatory.

Earlier this week The Telegraph revealed that conservatories were expected to become a "premium product" as new building regulations limit window size or required designers to carry out heat modelling which can cost thousands of pounds.

The measures, enforced from June, are designed to stop British homes from becoming overheated as the climate warms.

Speaking on a video link, Ms Terry said: "Once they're up, we know people don't want to take them down which is fine - obviously I'm in my conservatory here, when we bought the house it was here. We're trying to keep people safe, ultimately."

But incredulous host Susanna Reid responded: "Hang on - you're saying you're all right in your conservatory, your conservatory is still going to stand, but nobody else is allowed to have one from now on? Is that your point?"

Ms Terry responded: "This house came with a conservatory on it - what the new legislation is saying is not to build new ones because we know the world is getting warmer and warmer."

The new rules, first published last month, affect new-build homes but not extensions, and are expected to have a particular impact on low and mid-range housing developments as developers opt for simplified designs to avoid the cost of heat modelling.

For smaller developers, specialist consultants will have to be brought in to carry out the computer modelling, which simulates the house design under the hottest weather conditions to check that internal temperatures don't exceed legal levels.

Floor-to-ceiling picture windows and sliding patio doors are also expected to be hit by the regulations, which are designed to stop thousands of people installing air conditioning units to cope at home during hot summers, something which would put more strain on Britain's electrical grid.

'Small companies may avoid extra thermal modelling costs'

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the National Federation of Builders, said: "We can build heavily glazed buildings but smaller companies who do a number of different housing types on one development may avoid it, due to the potential cost of the dynamic thermal modelling on each home."

Ms Terry is chief executive of One Home, a community interest company that describes itself as "the UK's only one-stop shop on climate change adaptation and mitigation."

She regularly writes about green living for national and local newspapers and has previously expressed support for Extinction Rebellion-affiliated figures including Jonathon Porritt, former director of Friends of the Earth.

In a 2019 Daily Express column she wrote: "Many people going about their business lately will have been hugely frustrated as Extinction Rebellion (ER) campaigners have caused transport chaos. They have blocked key roads in Edinburgh and London.

"They have disrupted bus routes and glued themselves to trains, and all with the aim of causing as much congestion as possible. And getting arrested...I'm not part of ER but, as an environmental scientist, I understand their motivation. So, I suspect, does Sir David Attenborough."

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