A judge has rejected a legal challenge against the government’s decision to scrap plans for a “conservatory tax”, which would have boosted the retrofit market.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said in December 2012 that the government would not introduce a “consequential improvement” under Part L of the building regulations that would have forced house owners to upgrade the energy performance of their buildings when making improvements.

Pickles scrapped the proposals despite widespread industry support. According to the government’s own figures, the new regulations would have given a boost to the government’s flagship Green Deal scheme. The plans had been consulted on earlier in the year, but sparked a backlash when they were dubbed a “conservatory tax”.

The Association for the Conservation of Energy challenged the decision but lost in a hearing this week when Justice Nichol ruled the government was entitled to make any decision it liked following the consultation, provided it had considered the representations received.