'Wind farms are green tokenism': British Actor Griff Rhys Jones attacks turbines and says it is not elitist to care about the countryside

Actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones has hit out at the ‘hypocrisy’ of wind farms - labelling them ‘green tokenism.’ The 58-year-old also criticised the Government’s controversial planning reforms and the ‘indiscriminate barbarity’ of developers.

He told today’s Radio Times: ‘There is still the hypocrisy of a green tokenism. ‘Randomly deposited industrial wind farms still pop up in a fulfilment of a hectic ambition that won’t solve ten per cent of our energy needs.

‘It is not elitist to care about the countryside. It is not old-fashioned. It is not the preserve of old-age pensioners, or out-of-touch aesthetes, or little Englanders, or sentimentalists, or soppy nature worshippers or selfish nimbyists to require that this balance endures, and that our government ensures that it does. ‘It is the proper demand of a citizen.’

Mr Rhys Jones owns a home in Holbrook, Suffolk, near the proposed site of one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.

The huge development off the Suffolk coast would cover 300 square kilometres and include 325 turbines.

A former president of heritage charity The Civic Trust, Mr Rhys Jones recently campaigned against plans to erect a line of electricity pylons across moorland near his home.

He used his article to draft planning reforms that aimed to ‘cut red tape’ and make it easier to build in the countryside.

In March, ministers altered the proposed regulations after opposition from conservation groups.
Rhys Jones feels that wind firms, like this one in Lanarkshire in Scotland, will not cure the UK's energy problems

Rhys Jones feels that wind firms, like this one in Lanarkshire in Scotland, will not cure the UK's energy problems

Mr Rhys Jones said: ‘The Government panicked. The planning regulations were torn up. Our sense of priorities warped before our very eyes.’

He added: ‘The landscape is just as much part of the urgent remit of our state as housing or transport or the National Health Service. It is our shared birthright.

‘It belongs to you and, more importantly to your great, great, great grand-children.

‘So don’t let them destroy our shared beauty in the name of a short-term economic sticking plaster.

‘Buildings never go back to fields. Cheap, shoddy solutions are never eradicated with time, Rage rage, rage against indiscriminate barbarity.’

Mr Rhys Jones presents BBC1’s Britain’s Lost Routes, a new four part series that explores forgotten transport routes across the British countryside.

While promoting his 2009 documentary River Journeys, he angered fishermen by saying they have too much access to the nation’s waterways.

He encouraged canoeists and boaters to ‘disturb as many fishermen as possible’, prompting an angry response from anglers groups.


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