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Griff Rhys Jones attacks ‘hypocrisy of wind farms’

Griff Rhys Jones has attacked wind farms as the “hypocrisy of green tokenism” and warned that they will not fulfill 10 per cent of Britain’s energy needs.

The comedian, 58, suggested the “randomly deposited” turbines were being built with “hectic ambition” and were being “randomly deposited” across the country.

The Welsh-born television presenter urged people to use new planning laws to “rage against indiscriminate barbarity” and voice opposition to building in the countryside.

His comments were made in a column for the Radio Times, ahead of his new four-part series titled “Britain’s Lost Routes”, which airs from Thursday next week.

The BBC One series, profiles areas of the country “recently under threat from new planning initiatives and major housing demands”.

His comments also come after the government recently announces changes to planning law reforms, following The Daily Telegraph’s “Hand off our Land” campaign.

Writing in the magazine’s “Point of View” column, the long-time defender of Britain’s countryside said the country was told that the country faced recession “unless we were prepared to wreck the landscape”.

He wrote: “The government panicked. The planning regulations were torn up. Our sense of priorities warped before our very eyes.”

“Luckily, a lot of people called out ‘woah! Hold on a minute’ and the draft planning proposal was altered. Phew. So are we safe?

“I hope so. I found the countryside in better, more breathtaking shape than ever.”

But he added: “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. (Belt, braces, cardboard garterette, anyone?).”

But as he “crested” over the Cambrian Mountains or stood gazing over Cotswold hillsides near Sudeley Castle, or waded through a marsh in remotest Essex, he said he “rejoiced in the gorgeous British Isles”.

“The sheer variety of our landscape is staggering,” said Rhys Jones, who made his name as one half of the comedy duo with Mel Smith.

“The range of folds, dimples, indents, creases and nicely rounded swellings is dumbfounding.”

At present there are more than 3,100 wind turbines onshore in the UK, up from a few hundred when the industry first set out 20 years ago.

To reach Government targets to generate 15 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020, it is expected around 10,000 turbines will need to be built onshore in Britain.

The star is said to own a home in Holbrook, Suffolk, near a proposed site for one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.